The importance of a good reputation, revisited


From time to time, I’ve written here about the importance of having and building a good reputation in the community where one works. Whether one is in a small town or in the capital city, having a good reputation will bring opportunities that would be otherwise impossible. In our work, two things happened this week that, hopefully, are signs that the work we’ve done to build a reputation is paying off.

Becoming known as capable

The first thing that happened was completely unexpected, and is not something we normally go out looking for. A student from the local law school’s student organization contacted us, asking if we would be interested in teaching an English class for law students, organized completely by them. They have a need for someone who can come and help them learn some legal terms, but they don’t have the means to pay a professor or certified instructor, and so they turned to us, on the basis of the classes we have already been offering.

What an opportunity — one that we would never have gotten, had we not first done the work of putting on English classes for students in the first place. In our effort to provide a service to students, and because we sought to do a decent job, we have become known as a group capable of providing that service.

Becoming known as compassionate

The second thing that happened takes us in a different direction, and is no less special. After we announced our efforts to collect clothes ahead of Christmas, I was contacted by a student from a nearby town, asking about it. She said she had read about it in the newspaper. 

Now, this still has me a little bit confused, but apparently, someone who was involved in one of our events works for the local newspaper. I was able to find the paragraph they wrote — it was pulled directly from our group’s Facebook page, nearly word for word.

What do we want to be known for?

I think there is so much to learn here. Here are just a couple of things

  • Compassion and competence are two things that are contagious — when people see them, they just want more! I would not say we have been big promoters of ourselves, but somehow news has managed to get out, without our knowledge. Fortunately, we have been serving people well in our community, and people have begun to ask us to do more.
  • You are always building something with your time. At times it has been impossible to see the pieces coming together, but over the past year and a half we have managed to be noticed for doing some positive things. The reputation, up to now, was built whether we noticed or not — and now has provided some things we can be happy about.

What now? We thank God, and we trust him to provide us with the time and skills to do these things he has entrusted to us.

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