In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews.
You meet a recruiter or a contact at an event and think to follow-up quickly. You send him/her an email and want to keep your exchange casual. So, you throw in a smiley face and an LOL. And… you just took a huge risk in getting the job that you so desperately wanted!
Communication may be informal these days and the business world in general may be as well. Gone are the days where professionals call each other “Mr.” or “Mrs.” and many work environments are business casual (many are not!). Still, none of that necessarily means that you are buddies with your senior professional contacts. Remember, these contacts are professional. They are interested in your discretion and judgment. They want to know that you are client ready – that you will represent them in a mature and reliable manner.
So, for all professional communication, exercise mindfulness and discretion. Don’t remove your personality from your correspondence, but do display the appropriate level of respect for others who are by definition, senior to you. If you are questioning any communication as too “jokey” or informal, the odds are it is. So, take a minute, go back and rewrite it using a professional tone. You won’t regret earning a contact’s respect.