Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Common Courtesy: The Heart of Career Success

This is my "elephant" in the room blog moment.  It is an obvious but woefully neglected topic for any person desiring to increase career success: display common courtesy because it impacts you and others in only two ways, positive or negative. 

There is no gray area in between the two extremes.

1. The rule of life and career: Treat others as you want to be treated. 

I don't know if its the time, age or cultural shift of our society but we neglect the art of displaying common courtesy.  This can sting you in a career, maybe not immediately but eventually.  The consequence can be a fatal blow in a job offer, personal connection or advancement opportunity.

Examples of lacking courtesy:

1. Not taking a few moments to call if I'm running late to a meeting assuring others I will be there.
2. Not showing up at all with no call, no warning and simply ignoring the meeting altogether.
3. Not returning phone calls within 24 business hours.
4. Not returning email messages within 48 business hours.
5. Not saying thank you to a colleague for something they have done, no matter how big or small.

This all seems so elementary, but it's not.  We seem to be a people in a hurry, rush or in an environment that diverts attention, simply forgetting the basic course called "Be Nice 101".

2.  In the end, whatever you sow you'll reap.

This wisdom rings true more than we realize.  Whatever kindness, generosity or manners we display will be given back in some degree over time.  Its the law of the universe.  Its as imperative and true as the law of gravity.  And, lots of things fall on your head rather than in your lap when you don't use it.

So what can you do to improve your courteous spirit and business etiquette?

Five simple strategies will get you moving in the courteous direction.

A. Remember people are more important than time, money and even sleep.  They drive your business or job.  Without them, you have no work.  Be nice even when you don't feel like it.
B.  Return their phone calls in 24 hours.  No wiggle room on this one.
C.  Email them promptly.  The deadline is 48 hours. Sooner is better.
D. Never leave another person, business or organization stranded when they expect to meet you. Pure rudeness will bite you in the a*#.
E. Say thank you more.  In words, in action, in a moment, just say thank you more.

The result will be a happier you and everyone else around you.  Common courtesy is the lifeblood of career and life success.   You probably have heard that common mantra "Don't burn bridges in your career" a thousand times.

Today a new one emerges that sounds like this, "Take time to build a bridge with common decency and kindness."  Can't burn a bridge that was never built.

Courtesy will go a long way.

1 comment:

  1. "And, lots of things fall on your head rather than in your lap when you don't use it." I love this statement, Carla, it rings so true!