When it comes to asking for what you want do you feel like no one is listening? You may be looking for your next big assignment, searching endlessly for a new job, or pitching a promotion at work all to have your efforts fall on deaf ears. When your career outreach feels like dead air and you find yourself asking, “Can you hear me now?” it’s time to revisit your strategy and find a better way to engage.
- Overcoming Dead Air: No one likes to feel they are being ignored. When you begin to understand that it’s not deliberate or personal you might be able to find a way to maneuver around the silence. Knowing when not to be a pest means you are giving it that good college try. Follow up skills are the most important skill you can develop when you are networking, negotiating or just plain trying to engage a response.
- Knock 3 Times … When it comes to following up, there is a magic number and that is 3. The first attempt is either in the form of an introduction call or email, a follow up thank you or a request for a meeting. The second attempt is to make sure they got the first attempt and your follow up is in the form of a “Hey did you get my first request?” The third attempt is critical, a phone call, email or in person or any other direct way to connect with the person is your best shot at moving the request forward. If you are unsuccessful, wait at least 3 weeks and try the knock 3 times strategy until you get a response. Even if the response is “Thanks but no thanks,” it’s something and you know when to move on.
- “Hello?” You might feel like you are caught in the Adele song, but knowing when to keep at it or when it’s time to give up and move on is critical in how you develop your strategy. Your career is a work in progress whether you are in the middle of a negotiation or you are trying to get someone’s attention about a job opportunity. If you don’t follow your instincts about timing and what is right for you, you will wind up wasting a lot of time.
Finding the right opportunity even if it means starting over again in order to move ahead is all you may need to jumpstart your job search. You are not a failure if no one is calling you back. Believe it or not, there maybe a very good reason why something you are focusing on does not come through for you when you think it should. Even if you don’t believe in divine intervention, rejection of any kind keeps you sharp and on your toes and helps you to weed out the good opportunities from the bad. You may think if you scream “Hello!” loud enough someone is likely to listen. Maybe so but casting the widest net possible and following up and every likely lead may get you further along than you think.
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