Career Strategies: The Power of Honest Appreciation

A few years ago I interviewed the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  What, I asked, was the best thing he’d ever done for his career?  An MBA, working for a particular boss?  No.  He said, “The smartest thing I ever learned to do, and I learned right out of college, was to write letters of honest appreciation to people who helped me.  It’s made all the difference.  People I haven’t seen in 25 years remember notes I wrote to them.” is advice?  Reactivate your contacts.   If only a few of today’s ambitious folk, including budding entrepreneurs, would adopt this idea what a difference it would make in their careers.

Reactivate your contacts with appreciation.

No one, in the history of the world, has suffered from too many thanks or too much appreciation.  Yet, the people who’ve been helped tend to ration their thanks as if someone might be spoiled by over appreciation.  That is pure folly.  Imagine what would happen if  you sent one hand-written note each week to someone who’d done you a favor, given you an insight, or challenged your assumptions?  How about all those “information interviews” you had?  Surely, even a few years later, some are memorable.  What would you think if you got a note that started, “The advice you gave me three years ago was right on…?”  It would make your day.

I mention this now because many people start job hunts in September.  (Why they are letting August pass is another story.)  If they used the time not just to send emails to prospects but to rekindle relationships with people who’d helped them in the past, it would maximize the time spent.  Who is more likely to help a job hunter than someone who helped him/her in the past?  Expect eight of ten people you contact to respond with offers of more help.

Such notes don’t have to be more than five to eight sentences.  There is no resume enclosed nor request for help.  That’s why it’s called honest appreciation.  If written notes are too much, why not ask some of the people who’ve given you leads or comfort for coffee and express your appreciation for past favors?

Letting people know how much you appreciate their help is a strategy even the smartest job hunter tends to over look.   It’s still an effective technique.

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.

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Filed under Boomers, Career Strategies, Millennials and GenX, Office Politics