There is no denying that Networking is an ongoing process that is vital to your career.Countless books and articles are available emphasizing that it is important to have your business card (or resume) available so that you do not miss an expected or unexpected window of opportunity. The same books and articles suggest that you make yourself visible whether virtual visibility (website, LinkedIn, Twitter etc) or physical visibility at meetings and social gathers with other Dietitians. Authors can spend pages emphasizing the basics of how important it is for you to smile and have a positive attitude while networking. Even in our tech crazed society a handwritten thank you note to follow up an interview is still seen as an important part of networking. I agree these are all very important things to consider and not to be overlooked. Dietitians are often very good at presenting their professional information at the right time, making themselves visible, and even sending handwritten thank you notes. In this article I want to get right to the point and emphasis something as equally important that I often see Dietitians overlooking.
Returning a phone call or email can make or break potential opportunities throughout your career. The failure to return a call today can be a missed opportunity in the future.
Although our profession seems large from coast to coast it is actually a small world. Often times during a job search you may send your resume to more than five hiring managers. You may even have a conversation with all or some of the managers. Once you accept a position you may still receive a call from one of the other managers. It is vital to your professional networking that you take the time to return the call or at a minimum send an email to let him or her know that you have accepted another position. A voicemail is sufficient. But I suggest you take it a step further and thank the manger for the call and for his or her time and consideration of your application. Even if it is uncomfortable for you to deliver the news that you are no longer available, ALWAYS end on a high note; do not avoid or ignore the call. It is a small world and you do not want to be remembered as that person that never returned the call.