I’m OK with helping young people in college or those that have recently graduated and are trying to figure out what kind of careers they want to pursue, but I’m floored by those who lack common sense and basic etiquette skills. A friend asked me to speak to one of her friend’s son about my line of work. When the young man approached me via email, he gave me his available days and times. I promptly agreed to talk and agreed to a time that accommodated his schedule. All I asked was that he confirm the date and time I agreed to. After a couple of days with no response, I forwarded my original email, re-requesting confirmation from him. Incredibly, he didn’t get back to me until the day after we were supposed to talk. He apologized for not responding and gave me some lame story about not having access to his computer all weekend. Are you kidding me?! Why would he give me a date and time he wouldn’t be able to make? And he didn’t have access to his email for four days – Friday through Monday?! He’s a 20 year old in his third year of college! Nevertheless, I agreed to a new date and time and although I had a decent conversation with him, he made an even worse impression by not sending me a follow-up thank you. I wasn’t expecting a written note, but an email would have been nice. He just doesn’t get it!
College kid needs to get it
Dear College kid needs to get it:
I hope you did more with this college junior than just share your knowledge and experience in your line of work. His poor follow-up to his request to speak to you should have been addressed as well. He obviously needs help with his business etiquette skills.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being mindful and respectful of a person’s time when you request career assistance. It is equally important to demonstrate your sincere appreciation in writing after you receive the assistance. An email is sufficient but a handwritten note is preferable. An informational interview not only provides invaluable information in the short run but can potentially lead to references and/or significant leads dependent upon the impression a job seeker leaves behind. And, of course, these suggestions apply to any person wanting help with his/her career pursuits, regardless of his/her age and/or depth of experience.
I feel like a real dumb@##. I believed my buddy when he told me how he was going to handle things when he got promoted as the person in charge of our office. He was adamant that he was going to be fair and transparent, unlike his predecessor. He also said he wouldn’t tolerate slackers and would never play the PC card when handing out assignments and promoting people. What a bunch of crock! He’s definitely playing favorites and has made assignments and given promotions that are obviously not based on qualifications and capabilities. He rarely talks to me now and when he does, it’s different. You’d never know we had been good friends before his promotion. He’s just like his predecessor and every boss before him. I’m more than disappointed, but go back and forth as to whether or not I should talk to him about it. What do you think?
Disappointed with new boss/old friend
Dear Disappointed with new boss/old friend:
Understandably, you expected more from your friend when he took charge of the office, especially since he made proclamations to you as to how he planned to do things. It also makes sense that you do not know if you should talk to him about his behavior. You are in a precarious position. I suggest you feel things out as best you can to see if it would be advantageous or detrimental to your career, not to mention your friendship.
On a side note, although I sympathize with you, I also understand how difficult it can be for the person who becomes the boss of a friend. Sadly, the friendship between the two of you may never be the same.
Best of luck!
© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell