Ever noticed how the word, ‘organized’ or the term, ‘strong organization skills’, seems to be a qualification employers are all searching for these days? Well no wonder, because it’s a busy world and everyone seems to have tight schedules.
I’ve noted how LinkedIn sends me automatic notifications each time one of my contacts is celebrating a birthday. A very sincere wish by the way I want to send out to Nancy V.H. who celebrated hers just yesterday. Hope your birthday was celebrated with those you love most around you Nancy!
Now you might find those reminders annoying, you might delete them as soon as they pop up in your email, but then again, you might just dash off a very short greeting and best wishes for the day. The folks at LinkedIn certainly make doing so easy. I mean as soon as you get such a notification, they also give you options to send the person a reply in several ways. If you hit ’email’ for example, they even compose a standard, “Happy birthday” message for you and you just hit the send button. Nice.
One other example of an electronic reminder I just have to mention is from my auto service centre. I’ve booked this appointment 2 weeks ago for this morning to have a new door lock put into my driver’s door. In the last few days, I received no less than 4 reminders from the dealership reminding me of this appointment. How can I forget it with that kind of service? That’s the point isn’t it? They thrive on a constant flow of people bringing in work to be done, so they can’t afford many people saying, “Oh sorry, I forgot.”
Whether it’s my automobile service centre, my optometrist or my dentist, these reminders ensure I keep my appointments. Yes it must be a sign of my tremendous importance that they keep me so organized. Or is it my failing memory that causes them to remind me constantly! Actually it’s just an example of a very good business practice so that ultimately the service center, optometrist and dentist keep making money.
Now you and I can and should be equally organized on the job. Putting those team meetings, project deadlines and client meetings in our electronic schedules and day planners keeps us equally organized. It prevents us from double-booking, forgetting entirely, and wasting the time of others. If you are not using some form of electronically shared calendar at work, you probably should be. For many, it’s equally important that others in your workplace are able to see what you are up to, like the Receptionist or your team clerk.
Need to get your daily, weekly or monthly work life organized? There’s an app for that! By the way, if you are one of the people who doesn’t quite see the value in sharing all your schedule with the people you work with, or you can’t figure out how to actually use your electronic calendar, learn how! If you are an older person, it will come across loud and clear to some that your age is a big part of your reluctance to use technology. Isn’t this just feeding into that old adage about old dogs finding it hard to learn new tricks?
Resisting organizational procedures by refusing to enter your personal activities into the electronic scheduling software at your workplace can lead to some performance issues too. So your reluctance or flat-out refusal could be seen as a disciplinary issue if clients, customers and co-workers are negatively impacted. From the Receptionists point of view, he or she is going to look bad if they say to someone standing in front of them, “I don’t see your name down as having an appointment today. No, you’re not in Mr. C’s schedule.” If it turns out you do have an appointment with that client, now you and the Receptionist look disorganized, and by association so does the company.
Things are really no different when you are looking for work. How organized is your job search? You could just wing it and apply for jobs, keep no records and then hope if someone calls that they tell you what company and job they are calling you about, but how does it look if you have to ask?
I recommend to all my clients that they keep track of the date they apply for a job, the company name, the name of the position, the contact information for the company including fax, email, phone and address. They should track the name of the person they applied to or spoke with (including anyone they phoned like the Receptionist for more information), and they should track the date of follow-up correspondence.
I think it wise too to schedule time and days to update your social media profiles and of critical importance, organize your resumes and cover letters. I mean after all, you should have folders set up for resumes sent that make it easy to retrieve those same resumes and cover letters when company’s call. You want the right resume open before you to make your phone call less stressful.
Put reminders and notifications into your own calendar a day or two before an event so you are on top of things. If you aren’t use to this concept, start with things of low importance like a shopping trip for groceries. Get organized!