|Prepare for job search phone|
calls in six steps.
In the job search, that "something" can be a job lead, an interview, the status of your job application, a meeting, a connection to another person, the status of a job opening, whether an employer needs more information about you, or whether you are still being considered for a job.
Making Calls Can Be ScaryCalling employers, networking contacts, headhunters, and others is probably one of the most difficult parts of a job hunt for introverts and shy individuals. If it is a cold call--one where the other person is not expecting your call--the situation can be even scarier for you.
Calls can be easier if you are returning a call, but some challenges remain for introverts who are frightened by the prospect of connecting with a mysterious and perhaps gruff or uncommunicative person on the other side of the line. We don't want to bother the person! We don't know how he or she will respond to us! We are not sure we can think fast enough on our feet! We might get tongue-tied or forget what to say!
Not making these calls, however, can stymie your job search in a major way. E-mails can help bridge the gap somewhat, but often it's best to pick up the phone and make that call. This is especially true because most online job applications never make it to a hiring manager's desk and because networking is still the best way to find a job.
Six Steps to Prepare for Job Search Phones CallsHere are six steps that introverted and shy job seekers can use to make important job search phone calls:
- Decide on the goal for your call. This focus will keep you from worrying about anything other than your purpose.
- Decide what you want to say. Write down what you want to say and polish your "script" until you are happy with it. Listing the key points you want to make may be better than writing a script because you will sound more natural, warm, and friendly.
- Practice. Memorize your script or the main points you want to make until they flow and don't sound stilted.
- Prepare for responses. Think about the various ways the other person might respond, and jot down how you might answer back. You are essentially role-playing the call. Consider how you might respond to a hurried, unprofessional, or unfriendly person--they all unfortunately exist in business. This step can be very effective in taking the fear out of the call.
- Keep perspective. Remember that most calls take just a few minutes. The sooner you make the call, the sooner it's over. Most likely neither you nor the other person will remember the call in the future. I've been hired for many jobs throughout my career, and I can vaguely recall one or two conversations before I was hired. The rest of the calls are no longer in my memory bank.
- Just do it. After you've prepared for the call, just make it. Of course you may get voicemail, so be ready to leave a smooth, professional message.
One Day You'll Get a "You're Hired" CallPhone calls usually are not easy for introverts and shy people. But in your job search, preparing with my six steps can make them go more smoothly until you get that "you're hired" call.
What tips do you have for making phone calls when you're scared? Please share!