5 Tips for Proving Yourself Trustworthy in Finance Jobs

For most of us, trust is something that needs to be earned. People need to prove that they deserve our confidence before we’re ready and willing to hand it over. When it comes to your job, it’s crucial to convey your trustworthiness both to your employer and your clients. Here are some tips to help you convey your trustworthiness.

Follow Through:

When it comes to your employer and your finance clients, follow-through is a key indicator that you can be counted on. Obviously, if you’ve dropped the ball in the past, fallen through on meeting tight tax or finance deadlines, or missed a crucial step in a client’s filings, people won’t be ready and willing to count on you. Our tendency is to assume that history repeats itself. So, before you can expect people to place their trust in you, you first need to prove that you can consistently meet any expectations and deadlines that are laid out for you.

Avoid Gossip:

There are many psychological and emotional behaviors that are looked at when it comes to determining if you are trustworthy. Whispering snide comments or participating in that pesky office gossip will quickly sabotage any respect you’ve managed to develop. To be trusted, you need to get rid of any smoke, mirrors, or backstabbing. If you’re told a secret, keep it. If you say one thing to someone’s face, don’t turn around and say something different to someone else. Don’t make it your mission to throw a colleague under the bus. These are behaviors that employers look heavily at when it comes to who can be relied upon—and they aren’t the only ones. Clients can easily see through any smoke and mirrors on display and can usually tell if there is tension among office colleagues. Trustworthy people understand that what other people see needs to be what they get.

Own Your Mistakes:

Dealing with finance can be stressful and during tax season, it is not uncommon to become overwhelmed, but being able to own up to mistakes (and to learn from them so they aren’t repeated in the same fashion) is a great way to show you can be counted on. Be ready and willing to not only admit to mistakes, but to take the necessary steps to fix them and prevent them in the future.

The Trust Equation:

Charles H. Green, an author, consultant, and “trust advisor” developed a model that helps determine a person’s trustworthiness—it’s called the trust equation. The equation says an individual’s trustworthiness is equal to their credibility, reliability, and intimacy, all divided by their level of self-orientation. Self-orientation is your self-interest. Think about it, if you are credible with your information, and can be relied upon at all times then you’re showing you can be trusted. Intimacy has more to do with the level of safety someone feels around you and how you build relationships (which we talk about below). If your clients and employer feel safe with you handling sensitive information and someone’s personal or business financial information then you are high up on the equation scale. However, all of this can be undermined if people think you are more interested in your own goals than in their goals, then they are less likely to trust you not to seek personal gain at their expense. More employers are using this trust equation to measure a candidate’s trustworthiness.

Forge Relationships:

People who inspire the most trust know one thing: It isn’t something that’s earned overnight. So, rather than expecting to receive people’s faith right off the bat, place emphasis on forging beneficial and positive relationships that serve as the groundwork for a high level of trust moving forward.

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