I’m way more ambitious than most people and very career-minded. I place a lot of my personal worth in my career so I always want to succeed and go above and beyond! There are, however, pieces of professional advice I have been given on countless occasions that I wish I’d taken sooner…
Only answer emails once a day
I am an ‘inbox zero’ kind of gal. As a perfectionist and someone desperate to rid myself of the notification anxiety, I want a nice clear inbox. Unfortunately, that takes a lot of time! I heard this professional advice for years and brushed it off. Don’t get so bogged down with emails that you don’t have chance to do your work. I realised, recently, that I’m paid to get jobs done and that has to be a priority. Check your emails periodically throughout the day if you want to be sure you’re not missing anything urgent, but only spend time answering them once a day.
You can only do so much
If one person could do everything themselves then no one would ever form a company. As a social media manager, there are plenty of times where I act as the middle man. I communicate between client and the talent market, whether that be web design, a blogger or a brand. When a job needs doing, I typically always ensure I do it within 24 hours but not everybody does. When I first noticed nobody else was as preoccupied as I was with ongoing tasks, I took the professional advice I needed. Take a breather, let people know that you have done all that you can do, have chased the person we are waiting on and will update them when they update you. What more can you do? Let it go.
Take charge of the schedule
We’ve all had that email: let’s have a call tomorrow! Working remotely means that I have a lot of calls to attend in order to keep clients up to date but I’ve long learned that keeping an open schedule is a gateway to hell. Never leave an appointment open-ended. Organising your day means knowing what’s going on so if someone, be it your boss, your client or your partners want a meeting, always offer them times and ensure one is chosen. Everyone should know where they stand so that time is not wasted, expectations are set and everyone attends!
Delegate with proactive language
How you delegate can really affect people’s priorities. It’s important to be as clear and precise as possible, openly stating your expectations in terms of criteria and timeline. When I used to end emails with ‘kind regards’ or ‘when you get a chance’, I’d be at the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. Email people with proactive language such as ‘would you’ instead of ‘could you’ and ‘thanks in advance’. Always be clear when you need work returned by. People would rather be well informed than be nagged down the line for something they didn’t think was important!
I hope that you also take away some professional advice that helps you have a better work day! If you have any professional advice that you wish you’d taken sooner, that we might find useful, please leave them in the comments!