Are you in college? Are you showing off with what you are doing as a major? Like: ‘I am going to be a lawyer!’ Yeah, that is pretty cool, but you aren’t a lawyer yet right? How are you even going to be a lawyer at all? There isn’t any certainty or is there?

Henry Ford: – You can’t build a reputation on things you are going to do

Building a reputation on expectations

When you are building a reputation on what you are going to do, you are building a reputation on expectations. This means that you are getting respect and credits on something you haven’t accomplished. When I say I am in med school I get a lot of reactions like: ‘Wow, nice!’ ‘So you are going to become a doctor?’ and many others. Yes, of course, it’s nice and yes, I am going to become a doctor. But there is always a chance I won’t. There is always a chance I don’t like this at all in two years and I’ll switch (No probably not, and as my mom reads this blog as well: No mom, I won’t quit). But this means I’ve been getting a lot of respect for nothing! For nothing more than an expectation.

But this is almost always the case. When you are actively networking in college, you try to get into contact with people who look like they have a lot of potential. But you can never be sure of what they will be. And some might even fail you. Some may be not worth the respect you’ve been granting them.

Building reputation on what you’ve accomplished

Here is the problem. We are only students. We are teenagers or in our early twenties. We don’t have a lot to have a great reputation from. But the things we actually have will enforce (or reduce) the expectations. For instance, I’ve gratuated from high school with good grades, which meant I could get in med school straight away. This sets an expectation, the expectation I will do good also in med school. That I will get good grades now and become a good doctor. Is that justified? Probably.

What do we have more besides our grades from high school? Not very much. So the expectations will be formed by those single numbers. These expectations will get you the respect you are getting right now. So in some sort of way, the reputation you have is still build upon the things you’ve accomplished in the past.

Well, that is a good amount of bullshit you’ve just told me Stefan, but what does this mean?

It means that you should always keep your past accomplishments in mind. What have you done in the past? Because your expectations (thus the respect you are granted) are build upon this. If you haven’t done much in high school, is there a reason? Can you explain this? Can you be proud of what you’ve done before?

If you haven’t accomplished a lot yet, you have to do right now! And you have to adjust the expectations (thus (again) the respect you are granted) in any way you can. If you have an interview for instance, your résumé may not say a lot, so you have to do it yourself. Show the interviewer that you are awesome, that you are enthusiast and that you are capable of whatever you want to do. Your resumé may not say a lot, so be prepared, because you have to do the work. In a short conversation you can set great expectations.

Accomplishments is the ‘only’ thing left

Whether you’ve set expectations with your résumé/grades or with your personality. You need to live to them. Make sure to accomplish whatever you are promising. Be awesome. Become the great person everybody thinks you are going to become.

The expectations can be a great motivation. ‘People expect me to have a post published every week, I can’t let them down’ is a thought which pops in my head every once in a while. I want to be the person people expect me to be. In fact, I even want to be better.

Be awesome. Good luck.

Looking for a quick, surefire and easy way to build some reputation, build a blog! Here is how to start a blog as a student.

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