Little Things Count Big in Your Career: How to Stay in Touch

Many times the most important things to do with managing your career are the easiest and the simplest: it just takes a little thought, a little planning, and a little discipline. More often than not it’s these small things that make big differences in who succeeds, and who struggles in the long run.

Today I got a contact information update note from Tom Taggart, who recently took a role as the Senior Vice President and head of Corporate Communications with Union Bank at their San Francisco headquarters. [Disclosure: I worked with Tom when he was a Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate and Employee Communications at Barclays Global Investors, a firm now owned by BlackRock.]

As someone who is a public relations and corporate communications professional, Tom knows the value of managing information (get it out quickly, accurately, and consistent with your larger narrative). Hunch is that he also knows the adage “out of sight, out of mind” – and that if you can’t be found, it’s hard to contact someone.

Here’s Tom’s email note which he sent to himself, with bcc blind copies to everyone else (and my xxxx to protect Tom from being spammed):

“Hello everyone,

Below is my new contact information. I look forward to staying in touch with many of you.

Tom Taggart
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

Direct 415-xxx-xxxx | Fax 415-xxx-xxxx
Union Bank | 400 California Street, 17
th Floor
MC 1-001-17 | San Francisco, CA  94104 |

What 4 things did Tom do with a simple, polite note that probably went out to everyone who was relevant in his contact book?

  • Give people who know him information on where to find him.
  • Gave people – and Tom himself – a reason to reconnect over coffee / lunch if in San Francisco.
  • Signaled to people that he’d changed jobs – and as a recent candidate may have a sense of what’s jobs are available currently in his PR / Corporate Communications world.
  • Gave executive search people an easy way to find him as a source for candidates for position for which they’re engaged, keeping Tom on the radar in the executive search community.

Like sending a thank you note after an interview, or doing research on a company, little things count big in your career. And it helps to get into the practice early of doing them.

Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” sidebar or the “Hire Me” tab above. You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.