While there are so many different strategies in regards to job searches, job interviews, work style, etc, there is one thing critically important and should be a number one strategy in all these areas. Do you always do as you say will do?
While this strategy is important in every area of your life, “doing as you say will do” and having a 100% “do as you say ratio” is noticed more often than you think during your job search and in the workplace.
Harmless statements people throw out there such as “I’ll call you later,” “I’ll bring that article in for you,” or “I’ll follow up next week,” are oftentimes just that. Statements. But, the people who actually follow through and do them are the people who end up standing out.
Doing what you say you will do seems so simple. But so many people don’t follow up and execute on their promises.
When you are in the job market or at work, you are expected to follow through on your statements. If you write at the bottom of your cover letter that you will follow up next week then you need to follow up next week.
Sometimes a hiring manager might be interested in you as a candidate but will not call you and will wait and see if you actually do “follow-up next week.” It’s all part of the assessment of you as a candidate.
Do People Even Remember All the Little Promises?
Sometimes your promises or statements are small things and don’t matter all that much. Maybe you are at work one day and someone mentions how good the cookies were that you brought in a few months ago. You might say, “Thanks! I’ll make some up this week and bring them in.” But, you don’t.
You won’t get disciplined or written up for that but people who remember what you said are taking mental notes (and people tend to remember great cookies!). Subsequently, the more you do not deliver on your promises, the more trust people start losing in you.
Even if you just neglect to follow through on the small stuff, but you do deliver on the important stuff, your lack of follow through on any one thing can hurt your career brand.
And if you make promises on the big stuff and don’t deliver? You will likely be disciplined and if you continue to fail to deliver, you can be terminated from your job.
It comes down to this: if you throw out a bunch of casual statements and do not follow through, it may or may not be brought to your attention. Whether it is or not depends on how important it is. But even if it isn’t, if you have a history of not doing what you say you will do in relatively unimportant things, your manager is likely to take that into consideration when evaluating whether or not you should have increased responsibilities or could handle a higher level position.
This is a perfect example of “past behavior predicting future success.”
If you always do what you say you will do, no matter what it is, you will earn great trust and respect from those around you.
The ironic thing about this is that it’s almost “normal” for people to throw out empty statements sometimes (such as “Let’s plan a time to have lunch sometime,” or “I’ll see if I can find that e-mail and forward to you”) and never do it. Normal meaning, it is very common. But when someone always follows through, it is impressive! It definitely gets noticed and really helps build up a strong career brand.
Most importantly, always doing what you say you will do creates integrity and integrity is a crucial and necessary trait to have and a core value in most workplaces.
When you think about it, this concept is so basic. It’s such an easy way to build up your brand and command respect and trust from everyone around you.
Sometimes people just operate on auto-pilot and not following through on their promises in unintentional. They get caught up in conversations, they say things and then move onto to the next task or next conversation and simply forget about all the different little promises they made.
If you want to have a 100% “do as you say” ratio then you need to really think about the things that come out of your mouth. When you are about to say something that you will do, stop yourself and ask yourself the question, “Do I have any intentions of actually doing this?” If the answer is no, then just don’t say it. If the answer is yes, then to assure you don’t forget about it, write it down.
Sometimes some of the things that are necessary to build up a strong career brand are basic common sense items. This one is an easy one – just be intentional about what you promise and always deliver on your promises. Other people’s trust in you is critical to your career brand.
Jessica Simko, is a senior level human resources professional and a leading career brand and job search expert/strategist. She is also the founder of Career Brand Authority. You are invited to visit her blog and download her FREE e-book, “Top Strategies that Get Job Interviews.”