Re-Earn Your Credibility As Your Company Grows

It’s easy to assume is that your credibility you’ve built in your work so far will continue to have purchasing power as your company scales.

This is wrong.

As frustrating as it is, professional reputation doesn’t transfer easily across work contexts and across time. Credibility is not a right or an asset to be held on to (though many of us behave that way). Credibility is a relationship of respect which you’ll have to re-earn with each new person you encounter.

Most people aren’t like you – they don’t have any kind of record of your past successes or any context for your current position. Sure, being “the old guard” at your company can buy you initial credibility and “benefit of the doubt” for the new guys coming in. But if you don’t prove yourself to the new folks, you’ll never enjoy the same credibility among them.

Credibility built over years with one group of people goes out the window when the makeup of that group changes dramatically (i.e. new hiring). All of the authority and credibility from your work before won’t survive the transfer. You’ll have to start from scratch.

Don’t be sore about it. It’s a credit to your ability (if you have any) that scaling/new hiring is happening. Somehow your company can afford to do this in small part because you put in the work. Celebrate that. And view your new task – building new credibility and trust from scratch – as an opportunity to begin again. You have a clean slate, and how many of us have that kind of beginner’s opportunity?

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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