Last week I was talking to my little sister about an interview she had for a summer job at a local food joint. She hadn’t heard back from the manager and it was five days since the interview. My advice: follow-up. The week before a blogger emailed me and asked what she should do about an email she sent to a fellow blogger and never got a response. My advice: follow-up.
As I realized I sounded like a broken record, I also realized there is great power in the follow-up. In this world of modern technology, communication happens quickly – too quickly at times. We read emails as we are working out at the gym, commuting to work, standing in line at the grocery store. We read them when we wake up in the morning and just before we go to bed at night. It’s no wonder then that often, even with the best of intentions, things slip through the cracks. An email you meant to respond to is suddenly lost in a pile of other emails and forgotten. But a quick follow-up email, reminds you of the first note and shames you a little into responding.
As a journalist, I understand first-hand the great importance in the follow-up. There are hundreds of interviews I never would have gotten if I hadn’t made that one extra phone call or sent that one reminder email. It doesn’t matter whether the people are talking to be because I guilted them into it or not – they are talking to me.
Job interviews, networking chances, collaborations, etc… are the same. The follow-up is key to making it happen. It proves you are interested. It sets you apart from the others who are sitting around just waiting on a response. It pulls you to the forefront. And can reap benefits far beyond expectations.
Granted, not every follow-up is going to lead to some ground-breaking collaboration or a job offer. But a young professional would be wise to learn to power of the follow-up before too long.