Credibility Is Earned, Not Given

As you pursue your career goals, you can be more effective if you have credibility in the eyes of your peers and managers. It would be lovely if you could achieve credibility just by telling everyone you were capable. Unfortunately credibility comes from performing at an above average level over a period of time. This is one of the traps of switching jobs. The credibility you earned at the old job is lost, and must be earned all over again in the new environment. 

The matter gets more difficult if you are required to first overcome negative credibility. I earned my living for a period of time by advising Data Processing executives on how to improve their management process. Once they had decided to adopt the improved methods we recommended, they were often shocked when their request was turned down. It turned out their management didn't trust them. Over many years their projects were almost always late and over budget and their credibility was pretty low. Just because they said the new methods would put a stop to all that, didn't make it so in the eyes of their superiors. They in effect had earned negative credibility and my voice as an outsid expert was essential It frequently took an extended period of better performance before credibility was given to them.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved