More than just the title to one of my favorite movies, this catch phrase defined the start of the email revolution. We ALL held our breathe, waiting for the dial up connection to engage and hoped to hear those three words.
Emails today are a key part of the job search. Emails have replaced cover letters. They are the quickest way to send a thank you after the interview (yes, this is still a thing). Email allows us to reach out to companies that interest us. Emails give us a means to introduce ourselves and network. Emails are a quick way to ask an associate for a reference or solicit advice.
What is the one thing you now dread upon returning to work from any vacation? The onslaught of emails waiting in your inbox, right? How do you manage your emails? Are you diligent about organizing them into specific folders? Do you consistently flag emails that require follow-up?
One client of mine learned the hard way that having an email address specifically for job hunting is a helpful tool. He missed out on a second interview because he somehow missed seeing the scheduling email in his Hotmail inbox among all the Macy’s One-Day Sale type emails. It was 17 days before he discovered it, while purging junk emails. When he responded, he was informed the position had been filled. Lesson learned.
Using this tool to its full advantage, gives you a great deal of agility in your job search. I recommend having a personal email for actual interaction with others in your life; a general email for subscriptions to blogs, retail sale flyers, and social media accounts. If job hunting, a separate email for this purpose alone will make it easier to track correspondence with potential employers, responses to job posts, and network with contacts; filing them accordingly for follow up.
If employed, you also have a work email. My recommendation is to keep your work email off of your personal computer. If you work from home, hopefully your employer has supplied you with a laptop to use.
As for emails on phones, I do not believe anyone can efficiently and effectively answer emails from a phone. Yes, you can read emails to stay on top of situations that arise, but if you are out of the office doing something else, you are not focused to fully address these situations via email. Best to call and explain when you will be free to deal with the problem….in my opinion. “I can’t give this my full attention today, but will look it over when I am back in the office.”
My last bit of advice on efficiently managing email is to schedule specific times to access your inbox and focus on its contents. Do not become addicted to constantly checking your inbox. By blocking out times to check, deal with, and delete emails, you will take control of your time and daily schedule. It will give you a sense of accomplishment to tick off “check email” from your to-do list each day. You will be 100% focused when reading your emails at the designated time; freeing your mind when addressing your other to-do list tasks, fully present in the moment.
For more tips on taming the email monster, just shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I will share my favorite systems for organizing your inbox.