12343286 - word reputation on a fishing hook on green backgroundWhen others hear your name, you want them to think of you as a positive and accomplished professional. That’s one of the most important goals of personal branding.

Are you there already? Just don’t forget the maintenance of your personal brand. Whenever you’re in public, no matter how trying the day or the hour, it’s imperative that you reinforce and protect your most valuable asset.

That means thinking twice about going to a public networking event after a particularly trying day that has left you snappish. Always think before you speak. And remember that it’s not the little embarrassments that can hurt you. A minor faux pas is usually quickly forgotten. It can take much longer to recover if you let someone down in a big way.

It’s also a good idea to take special care on social media. Avoid weighing in on political or controversial topics and news items. Avoid questionable humor — if you aren’t sure how a joke will be received don’t post it. It’s always a good idea to keep social media content in the business realm G-rated.

You’re not a corporate conglomerate (that is unless you’re Oprah!). So your most precious assets will be your personality and your integrity. Guard both carefully, because your reputation depends on you!