Expressing Gratitude

Awhile back, I had a client whose primary need and concern was in securing local contacts with whom to network.  He had just left a higher level sales management position where his role was more regional in focus and therefore his contacts were outside of our local area.  He asked me for leads, which I was able to give him and he followed through on all, continually requesting more and more names.

As an outplacement consultant, it is expected that we provide guidance in transition, covering all aspects of marketing oneself right up to negotiations on a job offer.  We are not expected to provide contacts nor to place the candidate, although at least one company I know does offer that as an adjunct service, since they are executive recruiters as well.

I subsequently and serendipitously learned¬†that this individual had actually received an offer from a contact that I had given him.¬† He had left that contact¬†rather abruptly with evidently¬†not so much as a note or call to express his gratitude.¬† On hearing this, I realized that¬†he had never¬†informed me of the outcome of any of the contacts I had provided, including this one.¬† I knew nothing of an offer.¬†¬†Shortly after my realization, I shot off an email, likely not very warm and fuzzy, but stating in professionally¬†plain language that the courtesy of a thank you is indeed appreciated and actually expected in this process of networking and marketing oneself.¬†¬† While people may not remember that you didn’t¬† thank them,they will remember that you did and¬†are undoubtedly left with a positive feeling about your interaction.¬† The other side of that is, since you likely obtained names from them as well, they will also appreciate –perhaps even expect–a follow-up¬†regarding the outcome of any¬†contacts they provided (as I would have, in this instance).

I heard nothing more from this individual and took away that he was not pleased with the admonishment.¬†¬†I apologize for nothing and insist that gratitude goes a very long way.¬†¬†If you fail to express your thanks to people along the way in the job seeking process, what message are you leaving?¬† What impressions and feelings do you suppose others have about you?¬†¬†In a civil society, it is not only a “good idea,” but an absolute.¬† I assume anyone reading this¬†will accept it in the spirit of good etiquette and will¬†take no personal offense.¬†¬†Thank you!

About the author, Saleh

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