How To Ethically Quit A New Job For Another

Today I want to share my thoughts on how to handle what amounts to a moral dilemma for some people; quitting a job you’ve just started in favour of a better job.

Now some people wouldn’t have any problem quitting the first job whatsoever. They might just stop showing up and delete the calls on their phones from that employer wondering where they are. To me that’s cowardly, childish and demonstrates an incredible lack of appreciation for the company who hired you in the first place. If your name is then shared within your field behind closed doors as a, “Do Not Hire”, I think you deserve it.

However, let us assume that you took the original job in good faith. Perhaps the job was offered to you after a prolonged job search. You jumped at it although it wasn’t your dream job, or perhaps the work was ideal but it was part-time and you were seeking full-time work. Then you get a phone call from another employer you had previously applied to offering you full-time employment. If you have a conscious, you may be fraught with anxiety, wanting to please the employer who had the confidence to offer you the first  job, but at the same time you want to look out for your own personal best interests, and take what is in fact a better situation.

Let’s look at some realities. First of all, if this second and better job offer comes to you after only a few days on the first job, so that employer likely still has all the resumes and applications handy from their original job posting and will not have the expense of advertising the position again. They may just go back to someone who was their 2nd choice and offer them the job stating that the position has unexpectedly come available.

Another reality is that they have invested only a few days in your training. Those few days are lost, but much better than if you jumped ship after a month or two just as you actually started to be trusted to work with some independence.

Now most people understand when you are job searching, you have many applications out there, and unless you tell them you’ve been hired, your perhaps being considered for a few positions. It isn’t unreasonable or surprising therefore that you get a call either asking you in for an interview, or as in this scenario being offered a job based on a previous interview.

So, you’ve got a new job and a 2nd job offer when days ago you may have been unemployed or perhaps working in a job you really needed to replace with something better. So your stress of not liking your job was replaced by the stress of learning a new job, and then added to that stress is having a 2nd job offer and having to tell one of the two that you are not interested! Yikes!

Most employers will understand – they may not be thrilled losing you, but they will understand. If the job they gave you is part-time and now you have a full-time job doing something similar and it comes with better benefits, they’ll get it. They may even wish you well in your new job and tell you that if it doesn’t work out to call and see if where they are at. After all, they really wanted you!

Your moral dilemma is a good sign. It means you are already emotionally invested in the job you’ve only been at for 2 or 3 days. You really want to leave the job on positive terms, hate the thought of leaving without notice and don’t want to burn any bridges and leave a bad taste in their mouth. The one thing to remind yourself of, and to communicate to the boss you are about to disappoint is that you had ceased applying for other jobs or interviewing for them once accepting their offer of employment. At the time you accepted, there was no other job offer on the table, but now there is and unfortunately for the boss, the 2nd offer is too perfect to pass on.

You cannot control the reaction of the boss when you share your news, but you can control how you deliver it and how you receive their reaction. \Understand that in one day you will no longer know your current boss for whom you worked 2 or 3 days. You’re not so irreplaceable after that time that they won’t get over you. Your best bet is to deliver the news quickly and in private. Allow the boss to decide if you get escorted out the front door right away or get a chance to say so long to your now ex-co-workers.

The boss has more important and urgent matters to attend to than worrying about your feelings. They have to get on to Human Resources and get those applications sent back over. Their attention has shifted to the next hire and any outburst is more of a short-term reaction of disappointment and not necessarily real anger at you, just the situation. .

By the way, make sure you accept the newest job offer first just in case the awkward situation arises where you quit one to take the other and the other one suddenly is withdrawn because the company has decided not to hire at this time. That would hurt!

How To Market Yourself To Employers

Think of employers as shoppers in a marketplace. They know what they want and they’ve made a list of what they are looking for. During their shopping excursion they look over products for sale, pick out the ones they find most appealing and pass over by default the ones they don’t.

The question then becomes how to make yourself so attractive to an employer that you are the person they pick over other applicants? How do you become the one they examine and find just right for their particular needs? Just as an employee in the store makes products visually appealing, you’ve got to have your best face forward, be easy to locate and make your benefits known.

Stick with this shopping analogy a wee longer. When you go to the store, you might see a whole display of fresh plums. Some will be firm and hard, some softer and juicy. You make your selection on how you like them, how fast you’re likely to through them at home, and you may pick up and reject a few until you arrive at the ones just right for you. Employers act the same.

Okay so most people understand by now that when it comes to applying for work, it is essential to specifically market themselves to the needs of the employer. Ironically, while many people agree with that premise, it is a smaller number who actually know HOW to do it. There is an even smaller number of people who actually bother to take the time to market themselves to an employer – even when they do know how to do it; they just don’t.

So my question is why even bother to put in the slightest bit of energy and time applying for a job if you aren’t going to market yourself to the best of your ability? If your answer is that it’s too time consuming, save yourself the time and effort and don’t even send them one of your 20 photocopied resumes. A mass-produced resume that isn’t specifically made to match the needs of the employer is like the plum that gets passed over by every shopper and then gets reduced in cost for quick sale because it’s life expectancy is reduced. Why undervalue yourself and get passed over by employers you really want to work for; for jobs you really want?

You must market yourself to the best of your ability with each point of contact: cover letter and resume, interview (in-person and/or telephone) and follow-up. Also include any networking event that might bring you in contact with the employer. Every single interaction makes up part of their overall assessment of you as a potential employee of theirs.

It’s critical to be self-aware. Suppose you’re at a conference with others in your profession and then in two months find yourself sitting across from someone who also attended that conference who is in the position of hiring you. If you impressed at the conference, they might remember you and look favourably on you. On the other hand, if you looked bored, told others it was a waste of your time and the interviewer played a big part in putting that conference together, you may have ruined your chances two months ago. Mind your audience; both those you are specifically addressing and those in the wider zone around you but within earshot or able to see you.

It is important to match yourself up with the skills, qualifications and experience the employer has indicated they are looking for. Sure you can pick most of this up from looking at the job posting with a discerning eye. You should of course then make sure your resume and your cover letter cover all the needs of the employer. This still isn’t enough however. You’re going to need to sell yourself – market yourself – to the employer with something more. What they want in addition to this is what employers have always wanted; people who demonstrate some enthusiasm for the work, some passion or love for the job. It’s not good enough to just have a pulse; never has been.

Smile as you speak, sit slightly forward in the chair, get engaged in the conversation and invest yourself in the opportunity to discuss this job you say you really want. Your body language has to back up your words. You can’t slouch in the chair, speak in a monotone voice, never show any personality and convince anyone that you really want a job as you claim. I could see right through you and so could you were you in their shoes.

When you really want something – anything; doesn’t your face show some level of anticipation and excitement? Doesn’t your body move differently? You stride with purpose, you speak with emotion, you become emotionally invested in the pursuit of whatever it is. A job is no different.

Researching the job, company, employees and hot topics in that business will give you the intellectual, factual data you need to give solid answers, as will knowing yourself well. Delivering all that information with confidence, assertiveness and a smile drives it home and makes you a standout.

One practical thing you can do is examine your online photo. Are you smiling? Frowning? Sitting or standing? Positive or negative?. Fix it now if you look brooding, defensive, too casual or downright scary. Ask for feedback on it and I’ll let you know what your photo conveys.

Does Your Job Make Life Better?

What purpose does your work serve? I mean, does it improve the quality of your life? What about the lives of others? I put it out there that if your work is not making your life better, you should be looking for something else – and fast!

This idea of making your life better in some way isn’t new. Whether it was the Industrial Age, The Crusades, why even all the way back to the early days of human civilization, people have always engaged in work activities that improved their quality of life. Going to war to preserve their lifestyle or freedom, creating some invention that would improve on whatever people currently had – it all made their lives better.

Okay so let’s look at us; you and me. We’ve got this general pattern where we depend entirely on others early in life and then develop into young people with hopes and dreams, testing our independence until we fly the nest and start relying on ourselves. We  make our own choices, and with each choice there are consequences great or small. Every choice we make seemed like a good idea at the time, and we made those choices to make our lives better; for the moment or long-term.

So is this why we become unhappy if we realize that our daily jobs don’t bring us the satisfaction and some sense of pleasure? The job itself may not be a fun one, but we justify continuing with it if what we get out of it improves our lives in some other way. Hence the money factor. Take a job not many would willingly do for the work alone, and attaching money to it will at some point attract enough people to perform the work you want done. Offer too little and you won’t attract the skilled people to do the work and the quality of the work will suffer.

Some Career Coaches or Employment Counsellors will inevitably ask the people they work with, “What would make you happy?” You see we get it. If you could share with us the work, job or career (substitute your word of choice) that would make your life better, then we could help you define the steps required to take you from your present situation to the reality of having the dream job you want. With the attainment of the job, you’ll be happy; your life would be better. So goes the theory.

The problem for many is they can’t answer the question, “What’s your dream job?” They honestly don’t know. It’s for this reason many people feel conflicted, confused, anxiety and ultimately voice this in statements like, “What’s wrong with me? I should know by now!” or the classic, “Everybody’s telling me to just get a job but I don’t know what I want to do.” Figuring out the, ‘want’ is really trying to figure out what would make life better.

After all, if you and I are going to invest 7 or so hours a day in some activity 5 days a week, presumably that investment of time should make our lives better. If the job we take doesn’t make life better, why are we still doing the work? Ah but then maybe it’s how we define a better life that is the real crux of the matter. If we hate the actual work we do with a passion – the exact opposite of what an employer typically asks for, but the job provides us with money that we then use to pay for rent, food, possessions and our lives improve on our personal time, some of us can then justifiably state that the job we hate makes life better.

Not all of us feel this way however. Some believe that the work they do is such a big part of their waking lives that it had better not only pay well, but the work itself has to bring them joy. The job has to be one they’d find fulfilling. However while some get out and try job after job trying to find  the right fit to improve their lives, others don’t. The ones that don’t make a decision not to do any work at all until they are fairly certain the job will bring them happiness. Not having ever done the work, they use their imagination to visualize themselves in a job, and with this limited knowledge or perception of what they believe the job to be, they make a decision to work or not in that job; usually deciding not to.

Researching a job or a profession is good advice to give you data you may find helpful in making a better informed decision on whether the job will make you happy or improve your life. All the research in the world can’t tell you how you’ll really experience that job however until you plunge into it. There are many variables like the supervision style of the person you report to, the comings and goings of co-workers that will affect the atmosphere, culture, location, hours of work etc.

If life is the best it can be keep doing what you’re doing – job or no job. If life isn’t as good as it could be with the work you currently do, and presuming you want it to be better, get going; you’ve only got so much time to improve your life through your work.

What do you think people?

A Nod To Receptionists

Let’s pause a moment shall we and give a nod of appreciation to those who provide front-counter reception excellence. These men and women are often the first point of contact for customers and clients, hence they shape the first impression people have walking in your door.

How much thought do you give to the people in your organization who occupy this role? Do you even know their name? What exactly do they do all day? Do they essential or do you feel anyone could sit there and be successful?

I suspect if you compared the job descriptions of Receptionists across a number of organizations, you’d find common functions such as: greeting people who call in person or phone in, directing calls, notifying employees when people appear for appointments, accepting deliveries from couriers etc. Just as probable, I imagine you might find each performs functions in their organization which others with similar titles working elsewhere do not.

For example, you might find a Receptionist in an organization has the responsibility of accepting and distributing mail to staff via their mail slots. In a larger company, such tasks might be handled by staff working in a mailroom; where the sheer volume of correspondence cannot reasonably handled by a single individual greeting the public.

When you take on the role of Receptionist, you take responsibility for interacting with whomever walks in your door or is on the other end of the phone line you pick up. Whether they are angry, bitter, pleasant, happy, hopeful or any number of other states of mind, the Receptionist deals with them all.

And  job applicants? Job seekers view the Receptionist as the Gatekeeper to be by-passed in some way; be it through building an ally, circumventing through deception or charming them with wit and friendliness. Some see the Receptionist as a lowly peon; their function solely to run and fetch the important people with whom they wish to converse.  Contrast this with the person who approaches the Receptionist and pours out their business leaving it for the Receptionist to determine who in the organization would be best to speak with the individual.

We expect our Receptionist to be smiling, welcoming, pleasant of voice, helpful and gracious in receiving those into the lobby area. Their interpersonal communication skills therefore must be top notch. If the role they occupy requires they file documents, type correspondence or log visitors, we require of them multi-tasking abilities and computer proficiency. It is also a position that requires sound judgement; can they handle the person at their counter themselves or do they call in others for help – and if so, who and at what point in the interaction?

The really outstanding Receptionists play a vital role in calming down emotionally charged visitors. Through conversation meant to distract or delay, a sympathetic ear, an offer of a beverage etc. these folks often de-escalate clients and customers which benefits the people the client or customer is about to meet. Do it well and staff themselves may never know the role the Receptionist played in making that face-to-face meeting run smoother.

If we care to admit it, they often get trapped too. They cover for staff who are late, who have neglected to advise the Receptionist of their appointments at all. They cover for staff on extended coffee or lunch breaks, poor employees who routinely keep their clients waiting or situations where someone is behind in their meetings. It’s a fine line between commiserating with a client kept waiting and supporting their other customer – the staff they support.

Some Receptionists have to endure the customer who opts to pass the time flirting with them, or having nothing better to do than share their life story. There are still files to file, phones to answer, documents to type, mail to sort and data to be keyed in. Everyone wants their full attention, being THE customer. There are couriers requiring signatures, the lost needing direction, the children needing distractions, the magazines or literature to straighten and routinely update. There’s the fish someone thought would be calming that need feeding, the plants that need watering, the coffee or tea machines that need supplies replenished.

The job is an ongoing balancing act, day in and day out ensuring that everything runs smoothly. As the most important person in any organization, the customer or client must deal in some way – briefly or regularly with the Receptionist. And yet, despite the importance of the role, there are some who see this person as, “just” the Receptionist. It isn’t fair but the only time some people really take note of the person acting as the Receptionist is when they are on vacation, off for a day and someone else fills in, or there is a problem. Then everybody has an opinion about both the role and the person who fills it!

How about today as you read this, you say a word of thanks to he or she who makes a living in this role? A word of appreciation, their beverage of choice, a thanks for how they handled a tricky customer or client.

It’s a good idea to remember that a Receptionist might not show up on your list of team members, but he or she is the first point of contact when your clients or customers arrive. Not a bad thing to remember. Express your thanks for a job well done.

Hired: A Renewed Appreciation For Work

It’s not as easy for many people to get a job these days as it was in the past.

Headlines are full of company closures, layoffs,  line reductions, shifts being eliminated or company relocations. Despite all these stories however, there are always a number of people who quit anyway expecting to buck the trend and find their next job in short order.

It’s not hard to imagine why some people in job-hungry times still gamble with their financial independence and quit their jobs. Essentially, those who do think back to their personal history and make a decision to go job searching based on how they experienced the hunt for new employment in the past. They believe if they didn’t take too long to secure a new job in the past, it is unlikely they’ll have much of a problem getting one now in the present.

When the economic climate changes however, companies find it necessary to cut back on their workforce, take measures to reduce their expenditures and hold off on previously planned expansion initiatives. Were we talking of a single company or two in this situation, not much impact would be felt. Yet when you consider this is the story for many, the impact on job seekers as a whole makes finding work harder. The reality of the times has changed from what the job seeker previously experienced.

All of a sudden the individual who quit their job finds it  harder to find new job leads and get hired than in the past. Their unemployment stretches out longer, the pressure to find income rises and the prolonged unemployment is a new experience. Many don’t know how to respond effectively; be it budgeting or how technology has impacted the way job searching is done.

Often during an extended search for new employment, a job seeker will think back on the job they quit with some regret. In retrospect, they often feel that if they could do it again, they would have held on to that job while they looked for a new one instead of just quitting outright. At the time however, they never thought for a second that their inability to find their next job would take so long.

This change in attitude has one clear benefit; the appreciation for the next job if and when it does come around. This new-found appreciation in some makes them a better employee to work with, perhaps a little less confrontational, a bit more team-oriented and more inclined to act in  ways that will keep them employed – i.e.. their production levels rise.

Don’t think that I’m describing everyone in that previous paragraph. No there are many who don’t really change much once they are employed again. These folks will revert back as soon as they are hired, or just after their probation to the person they have always been; thinking and acting pretty much the same. The impact of their unemployment seems to make them bitter, jaded and hardened instead of appreciative. Now they  look out for number one – themselves; an employer drops to a distant number two.

I interact on a daily basis with a large population of the unemployed. Generally speaking, older job seekers are looking for that one break – that once last chance to demonstrate how appreciative they’ll be and how hard they’ll work. They see the window of opportunity closing quickly because they have a finite number of years to work left, and with a prolonged job search, that window is getting smaller.

Younger unemployed people on the other hand don’t feel the finite period of employment to the same degree. They may be in their 30’s and have another 30 years to go and believe they’ll have 4 or 5 more jobs so the pressure is felt less when talking of the sheer number of years remaining to work.

If you have ever been out of work for longer than you would have liked, you can probably mentally and emotionally re-visit that unemployed period relatively easily if you allow yourself to remember what it felt like. Many don’t want to recall those feelings for obvious reasons; it was a period of low self-esteem, struggle and increased frustration. Recalling the emotional and financial turmoil can however remind us of how appreciative we should be for the work we do now, and for the income and sense of purpose we have. This recall can also help us feel increased empathy for others who are experiencing now what we felt in the past.

Ask yourself however if you have slid somewhat back into a sense of entitlement; have you’ve abandoned that sense of appreciation for the job you have now in some respects because you’ve managed to hold on to this job for a period of time? Would  you go about your work with more enthusiasm, productively and appreciation than you currently do were you just recently hired? If the answer you give yourself is, ‘yes’, maybe you might consider working in such a way that you keep that previously held sense of appreciation front and center in your mind.

Appreciating our jobs comes when we realize it isn’t just the job we are appreciating but how we feel overall. Work provides income, stability, purpose, a daily routine, security and keeps us engaged with others among other benefits. Work combats isolation, desperation, low self-worth, dependency, stress and loss of purpose.

You may not love your job, but appreciate its benefits.

Morphing Into A Specialist

Consider your workplace and the people you work alongside. Thinking now of your co-workers, you likely view some of those people as having grown a reputation as being a specialist in some area of their work. Perhaps you count yourself among them. How does a person become a specialist, an expert or recognized authority?

For many, it’s a case of knowing exactly what they want and signing up for specialized training beyond what they and their co-workers normally receive. This training results in the person obtaining formal certification; recognition of their academic expertise.

However, there are a vast number of people who have developed experiential expertise; expertise accumulated from extensive exposure with a certain population, topic or interest. So these people find themselves being sought out for consultation by others, regarded as an authority on a subject, and become the go-to people. The interesting thing is that they themselves may not have planned to be regarded as an expert; they may be initially surprised that others keep coming to them, but then it dawns on them that they have in fact a knack for whatever it is, or whomever it is that they excel with.

Hence you could have a Financial Consultant working in a large organization; providing investment advice be regarded as the right person to refer certain clients to over others. You have speakers in an organization get the nod over their peers depending on a group or topic; pegged as the right person to connect with that population.

So are you a specialist in your organization in some regard? You may have the same title as your peers, the same salary; but are you regarded as having a particularly well-developed skill in some area over your peers?

The advantage (and there are advantages) in being regarded as an authority or having a particularly well-developed skill set in some area, is that you become more valuable to both your organization, your customers or clients, and to your fellow employees. So if your co-workers are challenged with a client and you have high success rates in dealing with clients like them, they may come to you and draw upon your experience. You may excel more often when it comes to dealing successfully with those who present with similar challenges.

Sometimes, you can keep your ears and eyes open and identify opportunities to seize on where your peers universally dislike or avoid aspects of their work. They may be more than willing to pass on what they perceive as difficult or undesirable clients who share common attributes, even taking two or yours to divest themselves of the unwanted one. In such a case, you could gain a reputation as handling well what others see as difficult, and you’ll be appreciated for it.

Suddenly you could find yourself being the one who gets the nod when it comes to attending courses, seminars and going to conferences that provide additional learning opportunities for dealing with hard-to-serve populations. Then after attending a few of these, not only do people in your organization see you as an authority, but employees from other organizations at those events start to regard you the same way. You may wake up one day and suddenly realize that without really planning it, you’ve morphed into a specialist.

What might then occur to you is that because you have developed a knack for working with a certain population, you find yourself wanting some further formal education to obtain some academic accreditation. This opens up the idea of night school or taking a leave from your workplace. If you look into it, you might even find that your employer is willing to pay for all or part of your educational development as they would get a higher return on their investment upon your return to the workplace.

For many this is how they evolve, stay fresh and grow. If you sat down and had a conversation with these people, they might tell you that they never really set out to become a specialist; it kind of snuck up on them and took them by surprise.

The wonderful thing about this entire process is the personal growth that occurs. The more you are identified as a leading authority or have some unique insight, the more likely it is that you will discover opportunities which you previously didn’t know existed. Hence, you could compete in the future for a position you wouldn’t have thought possible or perhaps even known existed. The other possibility is that your organization might actually create a position around you which only is being created to both recognize and take advantage of your well-developed expertise.

If we take this idea even further, it may turn out that you wake up one day and wonder if you aren’t in a position to actually break away from the organization you are employed with and set up your own entrepreneurial business. Your expertise might be in such demand that running your own business is in the cards.

Have a look around the organization you work for and see if there are opportunities to seize upon. Based on your present skills, interests and those of your peers, are there areas in which someone could capitalize upon and with a little effort be the go-to person, the expert, the specialist? Perhaps that person could be you!

Getting Comfortable With Cold Calls

Cold calling is perhaps the most universally hated activity a job seeker undertakes. Let’s define cold calling as contacting someone you may or may not know who isn’t expecting your contact.

The traditional rationale for making these contacts is that you may learn of a job opening you were previously unaware of so you view cold calls like this:

“Hello, are you hiring?”

“Not at this time, no.”

“Oh okay, thanks anyway.” Click.

If you see the cold call like this, no wonder you’re apprehensive! After all there’s going to be a lot of rejection if this is all you see to cold calling. The logic of those who hate cold calling is: A) I find calling on people I don’t know stressful and uncomfortable. B) I don’t want to feel stressed and uncomfortable. C) Therefore I won’t do cold calls.

I counter this thinking with A) I find it stressful and uncomfortable to call on people I don’t know. B) My need for a job is greater than my fear of calling on people I don’t know. C) Therefore I will make cold calls.

Take heart. Let’s expand on both the people you could contact and the purpose of cold calls you could make. See if you find yourself feeling slightly less apprehensive.

  1. Start off easy by contacting someone in-person or over the phone who you used to work with or for; see if they are willing to act as a reference. Tell them you are job searching, what you are looking for, and advise them you’ll send them an updated resume so they have an informed idea of what you’ve been up to. Be sure to thank them.
  2. Call a company you are about to apply to with the intent of getting the name and job title of the person who is receiving the applications. This may be information the Receptionist can provide, and you can mention that you would like to ensure it is professionally addressed to avoid the over-used, “To whom it may concern.” Be sure to get the name of the Receptionist as you’ll want this for follow-up calls.
  3. You may wish to drop in unannounced or call prior to arriving on the premise of collecting any brochures, annual reports, company marketing documents or even possibly a job description. Be sure to identify yourself by name and as a job applicant. The fact that you dropped in or called to request this additional information in preparation for an interview may be passed on to the decision maker who is compiling the short list of people to interview.
  4. You might contact one of your LinkedIn connections who works at the company you are about to apply to. They might be willing to pass on some of their knowledge of the company such as the culture, atmosphere, what the key characteristics the position really requires. If you believe it’s not what you know but who you know that gets people jobs, then get to know some of your contacts!
  5. Calling on a person working in a job similar to one you would like and requesting a conversation with them is another option. I myself have been contacted and ended up meeting face-to-face both for general job seeking advice and to talk about the position I currently hold. Sometimes I’ve met these people in a local coffee shop on my lunch hour, sometimes those meetings have been at my workplace. For the price of a cup of tea, I’ve sat for 45 minutes and had a conversation where my brain was picked.
  6. Okay yes you can contact a company and ask if they have a job opening for the job you are interested in. Be prepared for a negative response or being re-directed to their website to apply online, but it could work!
  7. One of the very best cold calls you can and should make is to reach out now to some of your social media connections before you go start job searching. By establishing a basic relationship with those people now, you will find it easier and less stressful in the future to approach them when you do go job searching. Identify potential employers, find people in positions with that company doing work similar to the job you would perhaps like. Now contact them, connect with them, engage in conversation either online messages, phone or in-person.

Okay so my point is there are many different methods and purposes to cold calls. It’s not only about phoning to ask if they are hiring and then hanging up when they tell you they aren’t. Like most things in life, the more you do it, the less awkward it becomes.

A good idea is to write out a script; a rough idea of what you’ll actually say such as:

“Hello my name is Kelly Mitchell, may I first ask who I’m speaking with? Hello Jane I’m in the process of putting together my application for the advertised Employment Counsellor position and was would appreciate the name and title of the person to whom I should address my cover letter. Thank you very much Jane, you’ve been most helpful. I hope to speak with you again very soon.”

Make sure you know what your goal is before you pick up the phone. Anticipate roadblocks and possible strategies. Do make sure you have a pen and paper handy to write down information. Good luck.