Why Following Through is an Underrated Skill

Mar 6, 2024 | Quick Takes

I recently taught a course at a notable business school to undergrads seeking full-time employment in a few months. After advising how to secure an interview, do prep research, and prepare strong interview questions, I asked, “How many of you write follow-up notes?”

Silence. 😶

Awkward downward glances. Everyone looked around anxiously waiting to see how their peers would respond.

NO ONE had sent a handwritten note or an email to their prospective employer expressing thanks and interest in the company and role. Further, they chided me as they perceived this small gesture as OUTDATED. (Interestingly, none of them have hired hundreds of young professionals, but they were bizarrely certain of their views.) 🙄

Here’s the thing. Following up an interview with a personalized note differentiates you. Period. If you’re worried about the timing of snail mail, send an email. 💌

When all other things are equal in the workplace, follow-through gives you the coveted slight edge. ✨

This applies to:

  • Networking – did you send a note of gratitude and share a useful link to something you discussed?
  • Mentoring – did you send a note of gratitude with a promise to keep them updated on your progress? Or share new resources they may be unaware of (podcasts, etc.)
  • Meetings – did you capture and distribute the action items?
  • Teamwork – did you locate and share that key piece of research needed for the project to proceed?
  • Reservations – did you organize the dinner you promised to your client, colleagues, or life partner?

Here’s why follow-through matters:

👉 It builds character and constructive habits.
👉 It elevates your reputation as someone who listens well, thinks ahead, and is reliable.
👉 It differentiates you as someone who cares and is trustworthy.

When you follow through, you’re taking responsibility – for who you are, who you want to become, and where you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 years. Remember, little efforts over time often add up to big outcomes.

Learn more about gaining a slight edge by reading Jeff Olson’s book on the topic or his short animated video that underscores how little decisions are “easy to do” and “easy NOT to do.” It’s in your control. 💪

I save every handwritten note I receive, and now I have huge stacks. The ones that stand out the most are those written on a simple personalized notecard. You do you in terms of style and message. (My recommendations have no affiliations.)

Yes, follow-through takes a little extra time and thought. 💭 It also separates you from the pack. Besides, who wants to waste time being average? 😉

You are more equipt to follow through.

P.S. Congratulations to Melanie Farkas for winning last month’s book giveaway of “Crucial Conversations”! Package is on the way!

This month, we’re giving away a copy of the empowering book “How Women Rise.” This is a must-read for any woman who wants to overcome unconscious pitfalls holding them back so that they can gain confidence and create the fulfilling life and career they aspire to.

To enter: 🌟

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter
  2. Follow us on LinkedIn

For extra entries: Tag friends in our giveaway post on LinkedIn!

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