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Job Search Courtesy

image: me at home

By Robert P. Poindexter

A man walks into his home one afternoon and his wife begins this conversation with him.

Wife: Where have you been?

Husband: Church.

Wife: Oh, and what was the sermon about?

Husband: Sin.

Wife: Really? And what did the preacher say about it ?

Husband: He was against it.

This man would be considered taciturn. We’ve all known people just like him. Their short answers make them come off as unfriendly. They will rarely ask a question, and, as in the example above, they answer in as short a response as is possible.

Some people are only this way sometimes. Like, if they’ve had a particularly hard day at work, or they just have a lot on their mind. Some people are born this way and have no inclination to behave any differently.

All of us can be this way when someone tries engaging us on a subject we have no interest in. Husbands get this way the moment their wives start talking about anything that doesn’t have to do with food, sex or sports. Wives become this way when their husbands START talking about any of those things.

Other than making you an unpleasant person to be in the same room with, this level of taciturn behavior doesn’t interrupt most of our lives.

However, if you are currently involved in a job search, there is no level of this attitude that would be considered acceptable. I am shocked almost on a weekly basis by clients who engage our services and then suddenly become tight-lipped when it comes time to help build the career document. Or the endless stream of emails from potential clients that seemingly drop off the end of the world when it comes time to firm up an agreement.

Most of us understand that people change their minds or have circumstances beyond their control arise. What we don’t understand is the lack of courtesy that dictates at least a short response that helps to clarify the situation. I can only assume that since our communication thus far has only occurred via the computer, they are simply showing the same amount of respect they would show any other inanimate object.

Look, we are all busier than we have ever been as a species. I get that. All I’m asking is that we realize there is a human being on the other side of that keyboard and treat them as though they were on the other side of a desk.

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