Are Voicemails and Emails Limiting your Career Success?

 In Career Tips

Is it just me or have our communication manners for returning voicemails and emails gone the way of horse and buggies?  Are your habits limiting your career success?

Over the past few years, I have noticed what I think is a complete lack of courtesy.  When I leave someone a voicemail, it’s because I want to speak to that person.  While my intent is to talk right then, my thinking is that the process will continue to move forward if I leave a voicemail.  Even if they don’t know me yet, there must be some reason why I’ve called.  I would think those people would at least be curious, even if they haven’t mastered the art of courtesy.  I see the lack of responsiveness to be the equivalent to speaking to someone face to face and getting no response.  Most people aren’t rude enough to completely dismiss or ignore someone standing right in front of them, so why would they not return a call?

I’m not as flummoxed over emails, because I realize with the technology, that sometimes emails get lost in spam filters and other technology mysteries.  Yet, there is what I consider an allowable percentage of “lost email” and after that, it’s back to a courtesy issue.  I know this, because I have people tell me that they have hundreds of emails untouched or “un-dealt with”.   Really?   Why do you have email then?  One time I had a conversation with a person who proudly announced she had set up email for herself and was going to check it monthly.   I asked her: “How often do you check your snail mail box?”  She said, “Daily.”   I then pointed out that if she checked her email only monthly, she would essentially train everyone to not send emails to her and then the big question would be why have it all, other than online order confirmations?

Here is the point from a professional perspective:

If you are in business or looking for a job, communication is like produce.  It goes bad quickly.  You can expect the other person’s need is fairly immediate.  They will move on to someone else and should you attempt to play catch up, you won’t be very impressive.

The other thing with this issue, is that the person you snub will remember what you’ve done long after you’ve done it.  If you’re not getting ahead, you might need to take a second look at your communication etiquette.  It might be doing you a big disservice.

If you care whether or not your voicemails and emails get a response, then lead by example:

Always return voicemails and emails within 24 hours.

Help me out here, should I be adjusting my expectations?

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to the Career Makeover Newsletter AND eWorkbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – both dedicated to Your career success, when you visit From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from

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