I really don’t need to explain how important your reputation is, do I? Short version: if people think you suck, either as a person or as a designer, they won’t hire you. It’s not a difficult concept, all things considered. Figuring out what other people think of us is much harder. Controlling what they think about you is next to impossible, as any attempt to “change your image” will probably backfire, unless you’re a consummate actor. And then… then there’s…