This new service is a minefield. One you would be wise to stay away from.
According to the website, the ultimate goal is to, “encourage useful discussion that resolves difficult workplace issues. We provide a safe environment in which to do that.”
However, safe doesn’t necessarily mean completely anonymous. The site claims, “Unless required to by law, we will not reveal your identity.”
The service, as noted in this LifeHacker.com article, might reveal the sender. “The catch? Tell Your Boss Anything flags messages with violent phrases or cursing, and if a manager flags a message because it’s abusive, Tell Your Boss Anything might reveal your identity. Keep a level-head if you decide to fire off an email to your boss.”
If you’re going to be level-headed, why not have a conversation with your boss instead? Not to mention, if you’re in a small department or have a unique writing style you’ll be giving yourself away.
For the millennial generation (full disclosure, I’m a millennial), email is too slow and no one uses the telephone. Texts are much faster, but the truth is the rest of the world still relies on email as a way to communicate.
That means if you don’t already, someday you will have multiple accounts to manage multiple accounts. A personal account with your name or a professional variation before the @ sign and an appropriate signature line, a work account with the same, a junk mail account (the account you use to sign up for coupons and other mailings you don’t want in your regular account) and a another one (volunteer, club, etc.). According to this Mashable article, citing this report, the average person receives mores than 100 emails a day. Eventually, you will have to find a system to manage all that email.
Finding one that works for you can be a lot of trial and error. Luckily, the above mentioned Mashable article has created a few short cuts for you.
Set a time limit
One that works for you and takes into consideration your office culture. If it’s 15 minutes as the article suggests, great! If it’s an ongoing hourly thing, also great! Just make sure it works for you.
Know Your Etiquette “The average time it takes to respond to an email is greater than the time it took to create it,” the author writes. “So every hour you spend writing emails is double for your recipients.” Let that sink in for a minute. This doesn’t mean the stop and start email that took an hour because the phone rang, you got thirsty and your talkative coworker stopped by. It means the total time it took to write the email. Further, if you are writing an email for more than 10 minutes and it isn’t a letter to a long-lost friend, what are you writing about any way?
Use flags, use stars, use bigger fonts for your boss do something to break it all up. Determine what will always need your focused and immediate attention and work down from there. Avoid using email as a to-do list.
Don’t Signup for Junk
Or use that junk email address you already have, you know the one that doesn’t have your first name and last name before the @? Opt out of as many updates as you can. Take this piece of advice to heart: “Unsubscribing is only as reliable as the sender’s integrity. You may also be exposing yourself as a real person to a spammer, who will sell your address to someone else.”
Don’t Open Mail Twice
If you are still using your inbox as a to-do list, this won’t help you. If you’re archiving messages for future reference, this option probably isn’t for you. The five options: delete/archive, delegate, respond (if you can do it in under two minutes), defer, or do are a way to think about the rest of your inbox and should be at least considered.
If only some of these solutions worked for the regular junk mail in the actual mail box.
It seems everyone’s email are getting hacked lately. In addition to the first obvious spam message, I’ve received several please disregard follow-up messages. Most of which are some version of this:
“Please disregard any messages you’ve received from me in the last 24 hours. It appears my account was hacked and I have worked to resolve the issue.
I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion these messages may have caused.
While you should first change your password, should the second step really be sending another message to your friends, family and clients stating, “opps! I hope you haven’t clicked on my last message!”? It depends on what kind of spam you sent.
If the spammer asked for money or indicated you or a loved one is in trouble or might be harmed, obviously contact your friends and family via phone, text or an alternative route. However, if the spam is just run of the mill online pharmacy, then sending a mass email can wait.
In that case, the second step, according to this Reuters article should be to contact your financial adviser, check your bank and take care of other financial concerns. “…while you’re alerting your friends, the hacker might be emailing your brokers in your name and imploring them to wire your assets to a bank account in Malaysia,” the article states. “And if they do, no government or securities industry agency is obligated to reimburse your losses.”
After that, you might want to be reminded that there are good people in the world. At this point, step three is a good time to thank your friends who alerted you to the problem. A simple, thank you email should suffice. Just don’t send a mass email with everyone in the to line. If you must send a mass email, at least use bcc!
Fourth, if you have the option to check your recent log in list, do so. While you’re at it, check your signature line and your Away messages. Change your security questions. Double check and make sure your account isn’t being forwarded somewhere else.
Once you’ve done steps one through four, then it’s time to send a message to your entire address book. You might even use this as a time to say hello to old friends. At least then you’ll know who’s really reading your email!
Do you find the please disregard messages over the top?
A recent LinkedIn post from the HAPPO – Help A PR Pro Out group (great group for those interested in or employed in Public Relations) reiterated that not all job applicants are well versed in the skillful follow-up from the application. Most people know to send at minimum a thank you note after an interview, but what about before the interview?
Instead of just waiting after applying, find a way to follow-up. The key to this is knowing who you sent your application to. Find a name, email address and phone number. Email is the best option, but if you only have a phone number that will do.
A good rule of thumb, as indicated in the HAPPO post reply, is to wait a week. That means a full seven days. If the job posting says no phone calls, follow that directive and send an email instead. If it strictly says no follow ups, find another reason to contact the person, such as a recently published article relevant to the position. There is a fine line between assertive and over the top. Don’t be over the top.
This article from US News suggests the easiest way to not be over the top is to find a way to reiterate your interest without being annoying. The example the article shares is, “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.”
Don’t demand an immediate response, the article advises. How do you follow-up on applications?
I’m learning that there are some people who just love meetings. Every other suggestion is, “let’s have a meeting about this!”
While I truly believe in making sure everyone involved is on the same page, I don’t think it is necessary to have a meeting about every single topic or just because that time has already been blocked aside for a meeting. A simple phone call, email or face-to-face encounter can have better results than a staff-wide meeting.
I’ve been lucky enough to have supervisors who recognize the runaway meeting trait in others and kindly quash it before it gets out of control. These supervisors have understood that just because we have a regular Monday morning meeting, does not mean we have to have a Monday morning meeting every Monday, especially if nothing has changed.
Meetings can give the illusion of productivity, but in reality are often just wasted time keeping employees from accomplishing real work.