Want A Response To Your Emails? Part 2

January 7th, 2015

Part 1 is here.

Here’s the other reason busy people aren’t responding to your emails: your emails got buried in their inbox.

Don’t think they don’t like you, or they don’t want to respond, or they don’t care about your message…

Sometimes, people are just really busy, and they keep getting emails… and your email drops to the bottom of the page. Or worse, your email drops to their second page, in which case it’s cast off to the winds.

This isn’t something you can fix – if they are busy, and their email has gotten the best of them, you aren’t going to go to their office and change their habits or systems… so what can you do?

There’s a simple solution that you have control over… and that is to to email the person again, with a fresh email.

Do it gently, do it tactfully, and do it as a reminder.  Don’t send the whole email before, don’t be condescending, or preachy, or assume you can teach or preach about email management… just sent a simple, gentle email.  I would suggest maybe 2 or 3 sentences, referring back to the other email, and possibly even offering an alternative response (like a phone call).

“Hi Jason, I’m just checking in on an email I sent you a couple of weeks ago about _____.  I just wanted to make sure this doesn’t fall off of your radar. I’m happy to have a short call about it, if you prefer that, instead of an email dialog.”

Make sure you end with a call-to-action, usually a question.

Sorry for not responding to your emails in a timely manner… but if you have sent emails that you want a response to, this might help.

 

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Want People to Read and Respond to Your Emails? Part 1

January 6th, 2015

I get a lot of emails every day.  I have 3,800 emails in my JibberJobber inbox, and over 15,000 emails in my Gmail inbox.  I know, it’ horrible.  I gave up on “zero inbox” a long time ago.

I recently saw a message that was many paragraphs.  This is simply too long.

Folks, if you want people to read your emails, be concise.  Short.  Keep the topics to one or two.  Make it easy for busy people to read in the very short time they give your email, and make it super easy for them to respond.  That means, let them know how to respond.

In the spirit of this message, I’m going to end this blog post with this one word: CONCISE! 

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The New Year is Finally Here: January 5

January 5th, 2015

Jan 1 has come and gone.

But today, the real New Year starts.  Pretty much every single “out of office” email I got in the last few weeks said “I’ll be back on January 5th”….!

So now what?  What are you doing TODAY?

No more excuses.  No more holidays.  It’s time to pick up the phone, send those emails, and get those lunch/coffee appointments.

I hope you’ve spent the last couple of weeks wisely!

Now, get to work!

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What Will 2015 Hold For You? 2015 Theme: The Year of the Cookie

January 2nd, 2015

December was really interesting – we had a lot more signups and upgrades than what we normally saw in the last few Decembers.  I can tell that people are getting more serious about their personal career management.

I invite you to make 2015 a very purposeful year for personal and professional satisfaction.  This means that instead of letting things just happen to and around you, you empower yourself.

In a recent post on this blog, and an article on LinkedIn, I said that if you are working with a boss who drives you crazy (or, is an idiot), you could:

“Be Prepared.  The old Boy Scout motto is splendid.  Let’s say that you are unprepared to get laid off today.  If so, you are probably afraid of getting laid off, losing the paycheck, etc.  Where would you go??  However, let’s say you are prepared… and you get laid off.  You might be thankful that you got laid off!  Sure, you lost your job, but you are prepared (strong network, established brand, etc.).  If you want to change how you feel about being in a crummy situation, work on career management, which can give you a glimmer of hope, and help you feel less trapped.”

On LinkedIn, Pamela left this comment (see her comment on this page):

Yes! That’s what I did recently and have done several times over the long years of my career. When in a dysfunctional relationship/organization, one can become very demoralized. It’s important to review one’s achievements, goals, skills and desires. When I remind myself of what I have to offer, it makes it easier for me to do the work of finding other opportunities. The more I explore, the more empowered I become. Leaving is always hard, but when I am moving towards my goals, I am re-invigorated.

Pamela is doing on-purpose career management!

When you do on-purpose career management, the power shifts.  If you are at the will and mercy of your company (which can happen if they pay you enough, or have excellent benefits, or have somehow scared you into not leaving), they have the power.

When you do career-management things, you shift the power from the company to yourself.  A popular term I like to think of to make this more visual is “who has the cookie?”  When your employer has the power, or the cookie, you are subject to them.

Let’s make 2015 the year when we take the cookie back.

This is the year when we develop more, and deeper relationships.

This is the year when we really work on our personal brand.  Maybe we start a blog, or write a post on LinkedIn, or leave a comment on a discussion in a group you are in.

This is the year you really get into JibberJobber to manage and nurture relationships.  More than just gathering names, numbers and email addresses, let’s really focus on the relationships.

This is the year that we take the cookie back!

 

 

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1/1/2015: The New Year Is Here (kind of)

January 1st, 2015

Happy new year! May this year be the year you grow and prosper!

The new year is here… there are just a few more days until people get back in the office… can’t wait until Jan 5th.

What have you done for the last few weeks, while things seemed to have slow down?  Hopefully a lot!  It was time to sharpen your saw!  If you haven’t, take the next few days so you can figure out how to hit the ground running on January 5th!

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Awesome LinkedIn Professional Headline

December 31st, 2014

I was surfing my LinkedIn contacts and found a profile of Mike Dodson, a guy I met a few years ago at an entrepreneur networking event.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mike’s Professional Headline:

jibberjobber_linkedin_professional_headline

 

As an entrepreneur I can read that he is successful, has failed (and probably has a lot of lessons learned), and isn’t done yet… !

How is your LinkedIn Professional Headline?  If you haven’t ever changed it, I can almost guarantee is needs work.  Here’s a great resource for helping you develop your own strong Professional Headline: a blog post with a super awesome comment thread.

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How To Work With Bosses Who Are Idiots

December 29th, 2014

How’s that for a catchy title? This is the perfect topic for this time of year, when people are evaluating their careers.

Recently I was asked for advice regarding bosses… here is a rewritten question which sums up the questions I’ve gotten:

How do I deal with managers who knows nothing about technology but who insists they are always right, no matter what say or do, even when you can see them running down the wrong road?  Usually they have no subject matter expertise, and many times can make my life very difficult.

I got this question from someone who is in a highly technical role… which means this person has deep subject matter expertise. I’ll try and answer in a way that makes sense to most people/jobs/roles.

Here’s my initial gut reaction: LEAVE.  Don’t deal with the manager.  The manager likely has a number of problems, including any degree of these:

  • They are unqualified for the job they got.  The problem IS NOT that they are technically inept (on the flip side of the coin, having them be technically adept doesn’t mean they will be a better boss).  The problem might be that they don’t know how to manage someone with deeper technical skills.  They may be in over their heads with things such as empowering their team, how to manage in different managing styles (hands off vs. micromanagement), etc.   They might simply be too immature in their career to have this job… which implies that perhaps they’ll grow into it, but do you have to suffer through their growth?
  • The manager is a narcissist. Let’s cut to the chase… perhaps I’m off-base here, but this last year I’ve been swimming in a pool with too many narcissists(one is too many for me).  I’ve learned that this is more than just a mean name you can call your boss… there are a lot of people out there with narcissistic behavior.  The problems and symptoms run a lot deeper than what a training or reprimand can do for them.  If you want to feel depressed for a few hours, read up on narcissism – there are plenty of articles that talk about what it is and how to be around (work with, be married to, etc.) narcissists.

We could go on and list a dozen other problems, but let’s generalize and assume that your boss’s problem falls under one of these two issues.  So where does that leave you?

If you are in a professional job, on a career path, my first bit of advice would be to work on LEAVING.  Look for a new job. If you have expertise, if you aren’t appreciated, if the work conditions are not fun (or worse: they are  hostile), there is no reason to subject yourself to daily torture.  Working in a pleasant, fun, appreciative work environment is night-and-day compared to working at a job that you dread going to.  If your boss isn’t going to change, it’s only a matter of time before you settle into the rut of work depression.  Why subject yourself to that path?

Caveat: if you are in a low-level job, enjoy the ride.  One of my first jobs was at Taco Bell.  It seemed like everyone was crazy there… even (especially?) the managers.  Me, my brother, and this other guy I think named Ron, had a super fun time.  We didn’t let the craziness bother us because this was just a gig to earn some gas money… it wasn’t a career.  If you are in a place like that, don’t worry about it too much… have fun!  If you can’t, then, LEAVE.

If you are in a career, though, here are options:

LEAVE. I’ve already said that. It’s extreme.  It might save your sanity.

Be Prepared.  The old Boy Scout motto is splendid.  Let’s say that you are unprepared to get laid off today.  If so, you are probably afraid of getting laid off, losing the paycheck, etc.  Where would you go??  However, let’s say you are prepared… and you get laid off.  You might be thankful that you got laid off!  Sure, you lost your job, but you are prepared (strong network, established brand, etc.).  If you want to change how you feel about being in a crummy situation, work on career management, which can give you a glimmer of hope, and help you feel less trapped.

Hang in there, maybe.  Assess the situation… how temporary/permanent is it?  Is The Idiot (or the immature manager) the son of the owner?  If so, it’s likely things won’t change anytime soon.  If The Idiot might have a short lifespan at the company, will things change once he is gone?  If not, then prepare to leave…

I guess you could try and help… but I’m assuming that it’s going to be too much work, and you might not get anywhere (except fired or laid off).  You could talk to a their boss, but that gets weird (especially if their boss has loyalty towards them, or wants them to move up the ladder).  If you have a big heart, go for it, but just watch out for your own mental and emotional health.

Okay, that’s all I got.  What do you think?

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What is UNsocial Networking

December 23rd, 2014

Have you noticed one of the categories of this blog (to the left) is “UNsocial Networking?”  It’s towards the bottom of the list of categories.  But what in the world does that mean?

I created that tag with a chuckle…. after all how, how can you be unsocial and network at the same time?

Indeed, I’m not suggesting that you should be unsocial.  I wanted to make a distinction between old-fashioned, non-technology-based networking, and “social networking.”

While computer-based social networking is not going away, I think that we’ve gotten away from basic principles of relationships, hiding behind screens and canned messages and false relationships.  Sure, a lot of good does and can happen online… I’m even an advocate of using any tools at our disposal to accomplish what we need to (see my post on Career Management from yesterday).

I did, however, single out UNsocial networking because I want to focus on those principle-based strategies and tactics.  Let’s really focus on relationships, nurturing relationships, helping others, etc.  Pick up some old books, whether it is How to Win Friends and Influence People or any of Harvey Mackay’s networking books.  Learn about relationships beyond being Friends on Facebook or Connections on LinkedIn.  Don’t let those become the goal… lest you find your network is nothing but a house of cards.

Sound interesting? Check out some of my posts I’ve tagged as Unsocial Networking here.

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Career Management Defined

December 22nd, 2014

Over the last few years I’ve given hundreds of presentations titled Career Management 2.0.  I’ve done webinars which people from around the world have tapped into, to listen to Career Management 2.0.

I’ve thought about this for years.  Career Management replaces “job security.”  I’m sure career experts can give you a five, seven, or even twenty-one point list of what  Career Management means… if I had to, I could come up with long list, too.

But here’s the bottom line: I’ve boiled Career Management down to two things:

  1. Networking, which includes growing your network and nurturing individual relationships, and
  2. Personal Branding, which is simply how others would define you (or, whatever elegant definition you want to give).

I can (and do) talk for hours about this stuff.  I’m passionate about it.  When I lost my job in January of 2006 I still believed in job security.  I didn’t think that a guy like me would have a problem finding a new job. I did “all the right things,” and so somehow, someone owed job security to me.

Of course I was wrong.  And along my journey, I finally realized that the power I was looking for was only that which I would create. Where I needed to start is listed above… and it’s the exact same two things I still focus on today.

As we close the year out, take some time to let this settle in.  What have you done to strengthen your network this year?  What will you do next year?

What have you done to strengthen your brand this year?  What will you do next year?

If this is top-of-mind, you’ll have a fun career.  Transitions will come and go, but they’ll be much less painful, and shorter, if you internalize Career Management.

 

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Getting Started on JibberJobber

December 17th, 2014

A common question I’ll hear is “I’m on JibberJobber, Now What???”

Okay, not in those exact words… but one day there might be a book with that very title! (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my first book title: I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???)

Anyway, we’ve put together various resources on how to get up and running with JibberJobber.  There is a getting started guide on Slideshare here.  Because I continue to hear the question, though, I’ve decided to use the Focus Fridays as an opportunity to record video of how to get started… you can see the series here, or see individual videos at the links below (this will be outdated as early as this Friday, so to see the most current videos, click here):

Navigating the Home Page

Setting up and using Tags

Email2Log introduction and setup

Email2Log advanced features

Log Entries and Action Items

We’ll continue this getting started series… come check it out if you are looking for help on “getting started.”

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