3 Quick (and Easy) Tips
I think we all have heard some derivation of the old saying that little things make a big difference.
In this spirit, I wanted to share a few quick things that I do that have helped me in getting promoted faster and building strong relationships both within my company and with other professionals.
- Nice to “see” you: This is a simple one, but it’s effective. When most people are networking and meet someone new they say, “nice to meet you.” While this is the automatic response for most of us, it can be really disastrous for building relationships if you had already met them but forgot. Imagine this, you are at a company networking event, talking to a colleague about how you had a great conversation with an executive at your company. And let’s say you also had presented something to the executive as well, so you are not just anyone. Now you and your colleague go up to this exec and say hello and he replies, “nice to meet you.” Oh no, he doesn’t remember you at all… granted execs talk to a lot of people every day, but at the same time he has made you look terrible in front of your colleague. That is why it is best to say nice to “see” you instead of “meet” you. Sometimes you can’t remember that you had met someone for just a second a couple years ago as you were heading out the door from an event. Don’t make anyone else feel the way the exec made you feel.
- Emailing at all hours: The nice thing about email is that there is no “business hours” limitation like there is when you have to call someone. Generally I work during the day, hang out with friends/grab dinner/go to an event in the evening and then come back late at night and work a little more (I guess the night owl that college brought out of me has stuck around). Because of this habit I have sent out many emails in the middle of the night to my bosses and colleagues. Originally this was unintentional but as time went on I saw that doing this made my co-workers and boss think that I was a harder worker than anyone else. Now here is the key: whether you are actually working or not, you should wait to send some emails out late at night. Draft the email earlier in the day, finish up the project before going home, but wait until 11pm or midnight to send it to your boss. Trust me, it impresses people and the best part is that you don’t even need to be actually “working” to send the emails out.
- Handwritten Thank You Notes: This is a BIG one. I cannot stress it enough. I would venture to say that sending out a handwritten thank you note is a lost art. With the ease of email and general distractions of our lives, common courtesy has often been thrown out the window. I used to hate how my mom would nag me over and over to write thank you notes as a grew up; to friends and relatives for birthday gifts and to teachers or other adults who had helped me with things. I despised writing them, but today I can say that there are NUMEROUS times when the extra note has helped my career. I can recall at least one of my promotions where I sent a handwritten note to the hiring manager after my interview and he mentioned it made the difference between me and another candidate. Plus a thank you note is tangible and physical, not just one of 100 emails coming into the person you’re thanking’s inbox. It does take a little more time, but it is worth it. Just find a way to get person’s mailing address (internally look at a company directory, if the person is not from your company ask for their business card). I have sent thank you notes to bosses and to mentors for teaching me good lessons, among others. I am sure that when my boss was determining who got the best raises, the thank you notes I had sent (that almost anyone would keep somewhere, because most people keep cards people send them) didn’t hurt me… and my paycheck is evidence of that.
I know these were a bit off topic, but I wanted to share. Next post I will get back to the topic from a couple posts ago: how to take ownership of how engaged and successful you are at work