By Mia Casey
When you’re a kid you’re usually taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ every time you either want something or someone has done something nice for you. But as you get older, and when it comes to incorporating this kind of politeness into your career, it can actually be more difficult than you’d imagine.
How do you say thank you after leaving an interview? Or when someone’s asked if you’d like to do freelance work, but you need more information before agreeing to anything? Or maybe when you’re finishing up at a job and will likely never see anyone again?
See? Not as easy as you may think. Read on for some hints and tricks for how to bring that childhood politeness back in your work life!
When you’ve had an interview
You’ve likely heard it before, but after an interview it’s always a great idea to send a letter or email thanking the interviewers for their time in speaking with you. This is not only polite, but helps build a relationship with them as individuals, and sets you up in a good light.
In your message, be sure to mention each of them by name (or message them individually if you can) and reference something that you all discussed during the interview – maybe about how you’re excited for a new development happening in their company, or thankful for a piece of advice they gave. Or, if you’re messaging them individually, try to draw back to something they themselves said (rather than something that was discussed more generally); personalising the message will not only help them remember you in turn, but is just straight up a nice thing to do.
Then finish up by saying how excited you are for the opportunity and look forward to hearing from them. Done and dusted!
When you’re approached to do work
You may one day find yourself in a position where you’re approached for a new job or freelance work – Congrats! You’ve been recognised!
But it can be a little awkward to be super thankful, while still wanting to hold out for more info before you agree to anything. The trick is to start with a huge thank you, go into a little (maybe a sentence) detail about what you do/specialise in, ask for some more detail, then finish up with another thank you. Like a professional ‘thank you’ sandwich.
There’s no need to gush, but just a polite ‘thank you so much for thinking of me!’ will do you well.
When you’re leaving a job
So you’re finishing up somewhere and you’re at that weird stage where you’re pretty sure you’re not going to keep in touch with most of the people you’ve been working with, but you still want to keep that professional contact going strong? This is where the ‘thank you’s need to start.
Begin with the people you worked closest with and try to thank them individually for something they’ve helped you out with, taught you, or even just a ‘thank you so much for making it such a pleasure to work here, I’ll really miss…’ – you fill in the blank.
Again, personalisation is key and will help you establish a connection with everyone. Remember, if this is the last time you’ll be talking to them for a long while, then your last impression is just as important as your first!
When you’ve been turned down from a job, but still received quality feedback
Eek okay, this one can be a bit tough coming off the back of bad news. But hey, at least they gave you some pointers of where you can improve, right? Not every place will do that!
If you’ve just been turned down from a job at a company you would have genuinely have loved to work at, then now is not the time to burn bridges. The people who are calling you are likely usually involved in the hiring process, so taking the time to say thank you to them could help them remember you next time there’s another job opening. (Another thing to remember is that if they’re calling you, they’re probably calling the other unsuccessful job applicants and that is really not a fun way to spend your day – so ‘thank you’s help!).
Whether it’s a genuine conversation on the phone after they give you feedback, or (even better) a personalised email or physical card sent directly to them, a good ol’ ‘thank you’ for taking the time to contact you and provide feedback can take you a long way.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash