October 28th, 2009

Managing Multiple Commitments

Man wearing many hatsPersonal productivity is another of my favourite topics … I blog about it relatively often, the most recent was called On the Brink of Out of Control.

When I was a programmer the time management skills that I needed were fairly simple. I had specific tasks to accomplish, there may be a few different “bugs” to fix, some development work, some meetings etc. Perhaps I would have to fit in some ancillary meetings for the social committee, or charitable involvement. It wasn’t too hard to do.

When I was a salesperson life was a little more complicated. I had multiple accounts with multiple contacts in each account. There were multiple sales campaigns to run, and depending upon where they were in the selling cycle I might be involved in a few proposals. Again I might have some ancillary commitments.

Today I am CEO of my own company and life gets quite complicated. I have multiple commitments for various parts of my business. I have client relationships to manage. I have staff to manage. I am heavily involved in two industry associations, which demands a lot of my time. I am active in several charities which again requires a lot of time. As a business owner I have commitments with the company’s external advisors, banks, accountants etc and I have relationships to maintain within the industry.

As a job gets more complicated so too does the “job” of staying organized.

I am probably an anomaly but I don’t have a personal assistant … I have tried it and I drive them nuts! I’m an ex techie and very comfortable doing my own organizing etc … and maybe it makes me a little busier but I also think it gives me a comfort level that I am in control. (oops a little “control freak” thing happening maybe).

So here is a glimpse into MY system for staying on top of all these commitments.

Franklin Time Management QuotesI take lots of notes and my notebook becomes my bible. This becomes a record of what I have done … not necessarily what I have to do!

I have an electronic calendar to keep track of my schedule. This is a record of my past and future time commitments.

I “drive” my activity ( and that is a critical part of personal productivity … you MUST DRIVE the activity and not let IT drive you) with “To Do” lists … and after much experimentation with electronic solutions and paper solutions, I have a hybrid system.

I use my technology to force me to work on specific tasks that I know I need to get done. For these I set up a meeting with myself and block time off.

I have two types of To Do lists … the master list is just a list of the “Projects” on my plate. I may have multiple “projects” for each “hat” that I wear … for instance with one industry association I am driving a survey which is one project requiring lots of tasks to be completed. For my united Way major gifts campaign I have about 20 people to contact … each of them becomes a “task”.

I end up with multiple tasks for each of the multiple projects for each of my multiple roles. One of those roles is my “Personal” role … and I may have projects related to our cars, our home, our family etc.

I try to keep all of my projects “moving” in the right direction and if I’m honest, I’ll let urgency decide when a task just MUST be done.

Each day I scan my “project” lists and determine if there are any urgent items and try to keep all the projects moving along … some days I can do that, others I can’t.

Overall I think I get a lot done this way … there are more automated systems, there are more complicated systems but this seems to be working for me right now. As always, I will continue to refine my “time management methodology” and tweak it to get even better in time.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
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October 28th, 2009

Diversify!

I have written many blog entries around the theme of focus … about the need to apply your energy to those things that are your core competence. I have warned business owners about the dangers of straying from your core business and being tempted into other, non-aligned areas of business.

The concerns I have talked about are:

(a) becoming a Jack of All trades and Master of none; and
(b) spreading your scarce resources across too many initiatives.

There is however another side to this story, the NEED, as a business owner to diversify risk … and not be so dependant upon one client, one product or one service, so that I protect the business should “the world change”.

In the IT staffing business here in Canada I compete against multi-national giants, against National players and against smaller Regional companies. The larger players will work with a variety of clients in a variety of geographies and probably supply the full “gamut” of IT skills.

Quite often the smaller players will operate in a niche area, which might be a particular technology (eg Microsoft products, Oracle or SAP), a particular area of expertise (eg security, database or point of sale) and maybe even within a particular client vertical (eg. Government, banking or telecommunications).

We live in changing times … another favorite blog topic of mine! Global competition, intense pressure for better/faster/cheaper business solutions, evolving technology, consolidation of companies and the demise of household names (witness the auto industry in Canada). Clients want more for less, and they have the power.

If, in times of great change, your business is too dependent upon any one client, sector or area of expertise then you are at risk.

I have seen many large clients reduce their supplier lists to a few key suppliers … what happened to those who used to rely on this client for business?

I have seen regions such as South West Ontario devastated by offshore manufacturing capabilities … suppliers to that industry have suffered the same fate, obsolescence! I have seen large companies get swallowed up by other large companies and suppliers left in the cold.

Business conditions change and the role of company management is to position their company for success … which necessitates anticipating problems and pursuing interests that are complementary to your abilities, services and offerings. Diversification! Risk aversion!

If you are very dependent upon one large client you MUST diversify your client base.

If you are very dependant upon one technology/service or product then you MUST look at adding other offerings.

If you find your world changed and you have not planned for it then you have only yourself to blame. You will likely complain about change, blame the lousy economy or the unfair clients or the government or anyone else you can think of … but really, look in the mirror!

Our job as business owners is to nurture and grow successful businesses … what are you doing to ensure success in a changing world?

October 27th, 2009

Great Products … Terrible Customer Service!

It strikes me as strange that some companies associated with great products can have such terrible customer service.

In a world where competition is increasing, where the “flat earth” allows companies half way across the world to compete, where household name companies go out of business and consumers are more and more savvy how can companies afford to treat their customers so badly?

I am about to trash some big name companies … and I’m just one voice so maybe it doesn’t matter, but then again some people will read this and maybe they will have something to say too!

I will preface these comments by the disclaimer that my experiences are all Ottawa based, but supported by hearsay in other places.

Let me start with BMW. I love their products, my wife and I have owned three over the years but I have reached a point where I would go a long way before I would buy another one. Part of the problem stems from the “elitist” posturing of the dealers. They will point to the car magazine reviews, the awards and the performance statistics. They will demonstrate just how well these cars drive … and they do! They truly believe that their cars are the best, which is both a good thing AND a bad thing. The bad comes from their complacency in how they treat their customers. “Oh you want snow tires, well drop the car off a week on Wednesday and we should have it ready that day.” “You want a loaner … sorry sir we don’t do that.” “You can’t book an appointment sir, you’ll have to leave it with us!” “Yes we’ve ordered parts but they are coming from Germany so it might be a couple of weeks!” I have had ALL of these comments from our local BMW dealers.

I hear from the Lexus owners about how their dealer picks up their car at the office and drops it off again later! When I owned a Corvette my dealer always gave me a loaner (and a comparable one), no matter what was being done.

I have a Porsche … another world class car with “third world service”! They take arrogance to whole new level and I will do anything to avoid taking my car in there! I take it to a small local shop just to avoid the hassle of the dealership.

All of this brings me to the reason why I am writing this blog entry, and its not really about cars … it’s a world leading company called SONY. Sony service has to be the classic worst!

I have a Sony notebook … an expensive little laptop, top of the line but totally underpowered. It came with Vista and it takes ages to boot, ages to shut down and don’t try to run too many things at once. It’s a very expensive machine … but its slow. Its light, it loos cool … but its slow. To top things off Sony had a recall on these machines about 18 months ago because of overheating problems. I registered my machine and was told that they would order parts and then send me information about where to send it. I would be without my machine for 3 weeks! Hello! This is 2009 last time I looked, who wants to be without their computer for 3 weeks? So I wait … they never contact me. I call their customer service … sorry sir, we don’t have any record of you so just go through the process again. My laptop still runs hot … it is still slow and I’ll never buy a Sony computer again.

In August I blogged about my Sony eReader and how cool it is. Last week I dropped it … not far, it was about hip height, it had its leather case on and it didn’t seem to be damaged. The screen wasn’t even damaged but now the on/off switch won’t work and its not usable. I take it to the Sony store … knowing full well this is not going to be a happy experience. They lived up to their billing!

Yes they are very delicate sir!

I can send it away and we can see if they will fix it … takes about three weeks (what is up with that three week thing) but maybe you should just buy another one!

You don’t have your receipt with you … then if you can just tell me the exact date and time of day that you bought it we might be able to find it in the system.

I particularly liked his next line … No sir we can’t find you in our system … that’s why we give you that little receipt (he didn’t actually say dummy … but it was in his eyes)!

So here we are with another example of a product I loved with service that sucks.

I think I will create my own Wall of Customer Service Shame … companies to avoid. So far I have:

BMW
Porsche
Sony

If you brand yourself as a superior brand … then you had better live up on the customer service side too. I can be more tolerant if the brand is a middle of the road brand … my expectations are not so high, but when I pay top dollar I want good service. These are excellent examples of what NOT to do and I truly believe that it will catch up to them!

October 22nd, 2009

Reduce Product Bloat!

About 4 years ago the Netbook came onto the scene … it was a very light laptop computer with minimal power and stripped down to basics, and offered at a very low price. In 2009 Netbooks are likely to capture 14% of the laptop market.

About four or five years ago BMW introduced the “1″ series into its lineup. Same German engineering, you can even get the same engines as the bigger vehicles but a cheaper vehicle with perhaps a few less bells and whistles than its larger cousins.

I was reading a McKinsey report (Consumer electronics gets back to basics) which suggests that 60% of consumers are more interested in “core benefits” and attractive prices, than in “bells and whistles”. Count me in! Most people only use a fraction of the features available in the products that they buy … and yet for years consumer electronics companies have been competing based on the latest greatest technological advances.

One of the success stories they talked about was the Flip video camera which has captured 14% of the US market in just two years, and is only second to Sony which has dominated that market.

So .. I got to thinking about other things that could benefit from being “dumbed down” with a more attractive price attached.

Software … operating systems, browsers, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software etc. I know there are options out there … but business friendly solutions at a better price point would be nice.

Audio systems?
Video systems?
Air travel?

What else could take out some bloat and offer a more attractive price?

Perhaps service industries like ours can do some of that … in our industry we have already seen changes that affect service levels and quality but reduce cost … is that what clients want, because at the end of the day we are here to serve our clients?

Could the legal system be dumbed down?
Could the tax system be dumbed down?
Could the healthcare system be dumbed down?

If we did that … would they be better?

I guess dumber can actually be better … but there is probably a line there somewhere!

October 19th, 2009

Reading

How much reading do you do?

Do you read about your industry?
Do you read about your profession?
Do you read the news?
Do you read novels?
Do you read detailed documents?

There are some professions where reading is a critical component of the role … and the most successful practitioners of those professions read a lot, comprehend what they read and typically they can also write well.

There are lots of other professions where reading would be a tremendous asset, but many people avoid reading as much as possible, and they can get away with it … to a point.

Here are my thoughts:

1. If you want to understand the latest thinking on your profession and/or industry then you need to read regularly.
2. If you want to be able to communicate effectively at an executive level then you need to read regularly, and develop your writing skills.
3. If you aspire to senior management roles then poor reading and writing skills will undermine your ability to be successful.
4. People with good communication skills might outshine people who have better technical skills, because they are better able to articulate themselves. A good salesperson with great communication skills might win the promotion over a great salesperson with poor communication skills … and probably rightly so. Management positions NEED good reading and writing skills.
5. If you want to be able to hold a conversation with senior people then you had better be reasonably current on what is going on in the world. The latest baseball scores is not always going to cut it!
6. We live in an age of “shortcuts” … instant message instead of email, shortened forms of words, internet information rather than reading the newspaper. If you have great comm skills you will differentiate from the masses.

I worry that ultimately good communication will be come a lost skill … and then I suppose it won’t matter if you read. But won’t you worry about the aircraft engineer who reads the manual about how to fix the plane; or the civil engineer reading specs about building a bridge; or the tax auditor who is reading about how to apply the tax rules or maybe the judge who is reading about the law!

Society has evolved to its current state, partly because of sophistication in innovation and partly on an evolution of communication. We need to be able to communicate well to continue to grow and evolve … and in order to ensure your success you need to read.

Just my opinion … so build a habit, read something every day!

October 15th, 2009

Canadian IT Job Market – Quarterly Outlook

This is a look at the Canadian IT Job market across Canada from our (Eagle) company’s perspective. We have offices in 10 cities across the country and our three General Managers have tapped into their market knowledge to write this … hope you find it helpful. I will stress that this is not a scientific or statistical look at the market … this is what we see day in day out “in the trenches” of the war for talent across Canada.

Statistics Canada’s October Labour Force Survey tells us that Canada’s overall employment rose for the second consecutive month in September and the unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage points. The IT job market across Canada is reflecting that trend with lots of positive signs, however results vary by province and industry.

Just as Western Canada was a little late being hit by the recession compared to the East, it was also slower to start showing signs of recovery. Provincial governments in BC, Alberta, and Manitoba are still very tentative in their spending. Specifically, the Government of Alberta has slowed down due to a predicted deficit of over $4.5 billion as a result of lost revenues from the energy industry, in addition to the effects the recession has had on business throughout the province. There are, however, positive signs that the public sector will pick up again in the new calendar year (post April 2010) as the economy and tax revenues strengthen.

The private sector in the West also had some disappointment this past quarter as it did not live up to the expectation of imminent recovery. Companies from regulated industries, though, seemed to have weathered the market turndown better than most, suggesting that they may be among the first to begin spending again.

Each Western province experienced its own trend in the past few months while dealing with the unpredictable economy. In British Columbia, companies have drastically reduced spending, with some increased interest in off-shoring solutions as a way to reduce costs. Hot skills in BC continue to be SAP and Networking/Infrastructure skills.

The recovery in Alberta is happening at a slower pace than one would expect due to low natural gas prices, although, pure play oil companies have gained an upper hand and are starting to be active again. Edmonton is seeing a demand for SAP skills as well as Project Managers and Business Analysts, while Calgary’s hot skills include Functional ERP, Agile Project Managers, and resources with Upstream Oil & Gas experience with skills such as PMs and BAs.

Out of all the Western provinces, Saskatchewan, whose economy is still largely based on agriculture and other natural resources, has survived the recession the best, and even showed some growth over the past 12 months. Manitoba, however, saw a decrease in demand for many senior resources such as Project Managers, Business Analysts and Architects. Many of these professionals have been available for new work assignments for an extended period of time or have decided to take work outside the province. The biggest requirement in Winnipeg right now is for .NET Developers.

Overall, the top resource request in Western Canada continues to be for Project Managers and Business Analysts, with a growing interest in SAP resources as projects begin to come back online. The demand for permanent resources is still very low as most of the new staffing activity continues to be on the contracting side, where rates seem to be holding steady.

At this time last year, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) was seeing a noticeable shift in permanent job opportunities or contracts that would eventually lead to permanent opportunities. While contract work is rising, this trend does not seem to have gone away this year and IT professionals seem to be embracing it as they seek these types of long-term, stable placements.

Overall, the job market in the region continued to see some healthy signs of growth this past quarter, with both contract and permanent work showing positive changes. In the provincial public sector, there was a rise in contractor demand due to a number of government projects being kicked-off and many ministries have started extending existing contracts. This was somewhat tempered by the activities at eHealth which have caused some organisations to adopt a wait and see approach to staffing. We are seeing an increase in demand at financial institutions as they undergo large initiatives such as revisiting their credit systems.

The major event in the GTA this past quarter was Showcase Ontario 2009, the annual IT-based tradeshow geared towards the Government of Ontario. The show broke records this year, bringing out participants from all levels of government and some notable keynote speakers.

Hot skills in the GTA include Business Transformation and ERP skills, specifically SAP Functional Consultants. Permanent staffing needs also continue to grow as companies look to fill their lacking skills, such as Project Managers, Infrastructure Managers, and Business Analysts.

While the overall feeling in the GTA is that there are more job opportunities, there are signs indicating that systems integrators are still not yet moving back at full speed.

In Eastern Canada, the economy has undoubtedly turned the corner with both positive job numbers, as well as other economic numbers. The surprising growth in jobs, however, is a tale of two stories – continued job losses in the private sector offset by growth or job gains in the public sector. There are other factors that can tip the direction of the economy either way. The surging Canadian dollar, although making for a cheaper trip to Disneyland for snowbirds, can effectively choke a Canadian economic recovery and translate into continued job losses, certainly in the manufacturing sector of Ontario and Quebec. Although indicators like the stock market and housing market show solid growth, the recovery in jobs still lags somewhat as employers and governments still do not seem to have the requisite confidence to fully commit to IT investment, nor the corresponding hiring effort. The overall good news, though, is something difficult to measure but is more a “feel” out there that, anecdotally, employers are starting to talk about hiring and make hiring plans. At least on the edges, a solid run of good news, barring an election, could be all that is needed to turn momentum in hiring in the East.

Public sector continues to be beset by other micro influences that have served to dampen spirits in the halls of bureaucracy. Looming elections, contracting scandals in Ontario, and an increase in industry challenges to contract awards federally by IT vendors are some of the influences that have all served to put a chill in the technology circles of the Federal Government. At the political level, no elected official wants to be associated with an IT project for fear of perceived failure or project governance issues and cost overruns. These concerns, along with the fact that most, if not a
ll, Federal departments are in operational mode, mean there is very likely no big IT projects in the near or mid-term future. With revenue numbers down, the Feds will now focus on operational efficiencies and delivery, better transparency reporting, and doing more with less wherever possible.

In Montreal, we have seen a rise in permanent orders; however, closing cycles are long as employers do not feel the added pressure of a yesterday’s market of counter offers and competing offers. Candidates need to be both patient and thorough in their preparation as decisions are made.

While there has been a very significant drop in demand for Project Managers and developers, other hotter skills in Eastern Canada this quarter lean more to the infrastructure side with Network and System Analysts, Help Desk, as well as Business Analysts, SharePoint Developers, and Data Migration resources.

October 14th, 2009

Advice for New Contractors

I received an email from a senior person who is relatively new to the contracting world and wondering what they needed to do to be successful. Their early experiences with agencies have not been particularly positive and they wondered if I had any advice.

Having spent some time answering the question for her, I thought I might modify that answer and create today’s blog entry! No point in wasting all that “grey matter” that went into my answer!

The writer observed that getting the attention of agencies is tough and “the whole concept of good and basic manners have been thrown out by some in this business”. She also wondered how she should go about picking agencies, working with agencies and building relationships.

She is of course right about getting their attention and while I won’t make excuses for poor behaviour I did try to give her some insights into why this is the case. Here were my observations

I think it is important whenever you are selling anything to understand, as much as possible, what it is like to walk in the shoes of the person you are selling to. The more you can understand about their pain, their needs, their wishes, then the better chance you have of aligning your product/service to the opportunity.

Yeah I know … blah, blah, blah, what does that all mean to you the new contractor! OK … think of the agencies as your clients (not a bad starting point for success … you can always modify your opinions later) and you are selling us on your qualifications and candidacy for a job with our clients.

What is it like inside an agency? We get literally thousands of resumes every month. We get tens of opportunities in a good month and these are not good months … the recovery is slow, government procurement is not ramped up (here in Ottawa) and there is NOT a lot of new stuff happening. So a very small percentage of people who apply to any agency will actually get a job, and the agencies get more jobs than most employers!

Furthermore the recruiters within agencies will always work with those people that they are most comfortable submitting. They likely won’t (shouldn’t) submit someone that they haven’t met.

Now don’t get discouraged … that’s the tough side of the equation.

So breaking it down … you need to get noticed. Then you need to get an interview with the agency. Then you need to be top of mind for a current opportunity that is a good fit for you.

Recruiters, like most people, love it when people make life easy for them. So if you can let them know that (1) Opportunity A looks like a great fit for these 3 or 4 good reasons, and (2) by the way they know you and (3) you gave them your reference information and (4) if needed you can customise your resume (truthfully … not embellishment) to fit the position, then you will be likely called.

Step one … get noticed.
Step two … get an interview. Understand how the recruiter wants to keep in contact (text, email, voice etc).
Step three … work to get those roles.
Step four …. maintain the relationship for the future.

The other part of the question asked was about picking agencies to work with.

There are a number of things you should know when working with agencies.

> Get referrals if you can.
> You should understand their breadth of opportunity … do they have a good base of clients, who use lots of contractors?
> You should understand their terms and conditions … what does their contract look like? What are their payment terms? Are there differences in terms and conditions between clients (there almost always is).
> Are they involved in the industry … do they belong to industry associations (ACSESS and NACCB are two staffing industry associations. ITAC and CATA are a couple of IT focused industry associations. There are more.)
> Do they get involved and give back to their community … involvement in charities speaks to their culture.
> You should research them a little to see if they look professional.
> You should meet with them and see how comfortable you are with them. Do they understand the market, know what rates are like etc.
> I think you should form a relationship with at least 3 or 4 agencies. That will give you a wide breadth of coverage.

Recruiters are inherently very busy people who tend to go from “fire to fire” so set your expectations of contact low … as you already observed. If everyone of the several thousand applicants who sent in resumes each month called, then the recruiters wouldn’t get much done! Text messaging is actually a growing trend, short concise emails are good and phone contact when there are real opportunities to talk about will probably be how it goes.

I’m sure there is lots more, but I think this is a good start.

Hope it helps and good luck.

October 13th, 2009

Another Dollar to Charity?

There is a strong school of thought that “giving” is one of the best ways to achieve success … and success can be defined in any way you want. I have written blogs about this on numerous occasions. Here are a couple of them:

I wrote about John Izzo’s book … The Five secrets You Must Discover Before You Die. His fifth “secret” is to give more than you take.

The blog entitled Give Back it Will Make You a Better Person.

I also wrote a blog entry called The Rewards of Giving, which is about a particular event that Eagle sponsors and the obvious pleasure that brings.

Canadians generally are a very generous people, with many contributing regularly to charity through regular payroll deduction, through involvement in personal causes, through fund raising events and many other ways.

A friend of mine as talking to his team (a large team of Federal Government employees) about the need to support our local community, and to give a few dollars back to help others. Afterwards a young employee came to see him.

“Is it really true that one dollar donated every pay can make a difference?”, she asked.

“Think about it” said my friend, “There are 30 million Canadians, if everyone gave a dollar from each pay cheque that could make a tremendous difference!”

She went away and signed up … and this young person, starting out in her career, with not a big income gives $5 twice a month from her pay cheque to help those who are less fortunate than her! That’s $120 a year … imagine if 30 million Canadians gave $120 a year. We could solve the social issues of homelessness, provide support and help to all battered women and children and make a huge difference in this society we call home.

Could you afford $5 twice a month?

Are you giving the same amount you gave a couple of years ago? Maybe you could ADD $5 twice a month.

Give generously, we all benefit from an improved community and we will reap personal benefits from the act of giving.

October 12th, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday – Today

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on a different date than the US version (which will be November 26th). This is one of the nicest traditional holidays here in Canada, as generally families get together without the added stress and commercialization around buying presents for everyone.

My son, daughter and boyfriend joined us for the weekend, which is always special. We celebrated with a traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie last night, toasted the occasion with some champagne and then all sat and watched a movie with full stomachs. We all have much to be thankful for and a family focused weekend is a great way to do that.

Here is some information about the origins of the holiday …

THANKSGIVING – Oct 12th

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October and is a day to give thanks for the things one has at the close of the harvest season.

HISTORY

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. In 1578 he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The feast was one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in North America. Although, celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops had been a long-standing tradition throughout North American by various First Nations and Native American groups such as the Pueblo, Cherokee and Cree. The First Nations and Native American groups organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday has changed to reflect an important event in which to be thankful for, as in the early years it reflected thankfulness for an abundant harvest.

SYMBOLS

A common image seen at this time of year is a cornucopia, or horn, filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables. This represents the “Horn of Plenty” which was a symbol of bounty and plenty in ancient Greece. Turkeys, pumpkins, corn and large displays of food are also used to symbolize this holiday.

October 9th, 2009

Keep people "in the loop"

You know what it is like … you are expecting your trades person to get back to you with a schedule and you have to call them. You are waiting for word on an interview and nobody calls. You are sitting in limbo waiting for test results … and weeks later you get the answer.

“We would have called you if there was anything to say” … is a typical answer.

“You could have called if you were anxious” … might be another answer.

So … why is it that the people with the knowledge rarely think to “keep you in the loop”?

Just a quick message relieves so much stress. Perhaps something like “no word yet, I expect I’ll hear in a couple of days”, or “got the results … you passed/everything is good … will send details later”.

To the person waiting … there is anxiety, they are unsure of the process or it is something they don’t do often … and the answer means a lot to them.

To the person doing the job … it is routine, the process is the process, the information will get there when it does.

What a GREAT way to differentiate yourself!

Put yourself in the shoes of the person waiting. How would you like to be treated if you were them?

Think about all of the people with a query about their pay, their health, their family, their application, their potential award … these are super important things to them. They get anxious when they don’t hear back quickly, they get frustrated with the seeming (actual?) lack of caring.

If you can empathise with these people, keep them informed through the process, let them know you care … then you will stand out from the crowd. Even more important, is that you will be treating them the way they deserve to be treated!

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