Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Corridor Reputation: Bagels and Blogs

Corridor Reputation is a big deal in the Foreign Service. They literally teach you about it in the first 3 week orientation class, heck they even named their internal social networking system "Corridor." I don't think the term is really unique to the Foreign Service, but I'll define it anyway. Corridor Reputation is what precedes you when people ask your former (or current) coworkers about you. As you can imagine, this is always an important thing to maintain in any job. That being said, it's even more crucial in this job, because your future assignments (after your first two) are decided by 'bidding' or 'lobbying' for the position. If people have heard of you (in a good way), you're more likely to get the jobs you want. If you're known as a 'screamer,' well... enjoy getting posted wherever is left.

I'm a pretty friendly guy and generally good at getting things done at work, so I've never had any issues with my reputation preceding me. <brag>In fact, my last job as a contractor, before this job, I literally got the job because some higher up I'd never met or heard of found out I was in the list of candidates and told them to take me. </brag> All boasting aside, Corridor Reputation isn't something I've overly concerned myself with. That being said, I can feel myself being inexorably changed... I'd be lying if I tried to claim that I never consider my reputation while at work. In fact, I've taken on some projects that I probably wouldn't have cared about, except that they'll give me nice exposure to other IMS around the world.

Of course, let's face it. I made bagels for a CLO bake sale (which are unavailable locally) and I have this blog. I should just resign myself to being the "Bagels and Blog" guy. I'm pretty sure it's already begun. The Management Officer here (jokingly?) told me bringing bagels in once a week should be added to my work requirements... and I learned from my social sponsee that my blog had some readers in the 134th Specialist class. I guess the moral of this post is: if you want to succeed in the Foreign Service, learn to bake bagels. Wait no... I mean, be that guy with crazy hobbies... No... that's not it. Oh yeah, be nice and work hard! Yeah, we'll go with that one.

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