We’re all really busy. More so than ever. Everything is at our fingertips providing instant results. It’s the age of technology and it’s amazing.
However, there are some things that haven’t caught up to this go-go-go revelation. And probably should. Common courtesy and politeness are two things that come to mind. It is only too often these general manners have been lost or forgotten in our fast paced ever-ready indulgence.
The one thing that I find completely disheartening is the lack of response in returning phone calls, both as a prospective candidate and on the job. I’m sure this fits into the common courtesy category.
As an experienced Executive Assistant currently looking for new opportunities, I’ve had to swiftly adapt to the changing market and methods to a get a look in. The job market moves very quickly, blink and you’ve missed an opening.
Occasionally the standard thank you email comes through. Occasionally the phone rings for a great chat about a position, which may lead to interview. Sadly a large proportion simply don’t respond. I’ve experienced positive conversations ending with “you’ll receive a phone call by the end of the week either way”, yet that phone call doesn’t come. I’ve experienced being the final candidate with referees lined up to never hear about the role again. But these types of behaviour happen in the every day workplace too. I’ve experienced people not responding to me on the job simply because I am the EA and not the boss.
A good EA is integral because they are organised, savvy and well connected. We know as much about the goings on as our boss. We’re the movers and shakers behind the Executive, the glue that binds the pages of the book, if you like. We can be influential and we usually have good memories.
Take a moment out of your busy schedule. Call if you said you would. A short email is quite acceptable, even the standard response is ok, at least then we know exactly where we stand. Either way, have the common courtesy to respond. It is always appreciated.
Written by Sharon Herzog