I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get nervous about being too aggressive when it comes to career-related things. Whether it’s pursuing a new client or pitching a new publication, there’s always a teeny part of me that goes “Okayyyy, but what if they think I’m a total creep for following up so much?”
But I learned recently that being the ultimate stalker (within reason) pays off.
Okay, let me rephrase that. You don’t want to be watching someone while they sleep and blowing up their phone and e-mail constantly, but you do have to be really persistent if you want to catch a potential client or employer’s attention.
A recent example: There was an outlet that I REALLY wanted to do some blogging for. (*Update: Now that my first post is live, I feel better that I won’t jinx it. I’m blogging for two of CBS Radio Charlotte’s stations. See my first post here!) I had made a connection there and talked with this person once every few months, but there was never an opportunity to work for them when I made contact. I was thinking about it again a few days ago and thought “Hmm, should I e-mail my connection there?” On the one hand, I was afraid of creeping this lady out and having her be like, “GET LOST!” but on the other hand I thought, ” I haven’t reached out in a few months, who knows what’s changed?” so I sent her an e-mail.
And I am SO glad I did.
She wrote back right away and was really glad to hear from me, but explained they didn’t have anything for me at that time. Boo. Hiss. Fast forward to the next morning when I wake up to an e-mail from her explaining that, interestingly enough, she did have a blogging opportunity and was I interested?
Had I not sent that e-mail and felt like her #1 stalker, she probably would have just passed the blogging gig to someone else, and I would have been SOL again.
Remember, people are busy. If you don’t hop back on their radar every now and again, they’re going to forget about you. You don’t want to be super pesky and creepy, but you also can’t just assume that they’ll remember you. If you’re scared that they’re going to tell you to go eff yourself, let’s be realistic. How often has that happened? They probably won’t. If roles were reversed, would you do that to someone? Probably not. And if they do say that, then they suck and you don’t want to work for/with them anyway, so who cares?
Just my two cents.
P.S. I’ll give more details about the new gig once it’s fully underway. For now, full vagueness in effect….