Why don’t your prospective employers, clients, and other key players follow up with you when they say they will? Don’t they take you seriously?

Let’s say you just had your best job interview ever. All the stars were aligned. Your responses to the recruiter’s questions by phone were pitch perfect. Then, on the big interview with the boss, your conversation was seamless. You were not only on the same page—you could have co-written the book. Your exchanges with her colleagues were in sync too. Later, the recruiter calls to tell you you’re a frontrunner. When will you find out if you got the job? In a week, you’re told.

A week passes and no word. As hard as you try not to slow down your search while you’re waiting, you’re tired of looking for a job. All the more so if you’re an introvert. The process of constantly reaching out is especially draining for you. Not to mention your preference to immerse yourself in your work rather than talk about your stellar accomplishments (repeatedly, while networking, in cover letters, and on interviews).

After two weeks, you pore through the spam folder in your e-mail. All you find is spam. You double-check the voicemails on your landline and cell phone. Silence on the airwaves. Now what? You e-mail the recruiter, and a week later the boss. Nothing. Next, you put in a call to the recruiter, but he’s on vacation.

Here are five reasons why your prospective next boss doesn’t follow up like she says she will:

  1. Priorities have changed. Filling the spot you applied for just slipped from high to low on the list.
  2. Despite the boss’s initial enthusiasm about you, an internal shoo-in candidate surfaced and sidelined your candidacy.
  3. The CEO just put a freeze on hiring, and things are so crazy that no one has had a chance to let you know.
  4. Someone in HR realized that it would be best to bring in a consultant to temporarily do the job you applied for.
  5. Someone who is pivotal to the hiring decision is (pick one): a) out of town; b) distracted by personal issues; c) distracted by issues on the job; d) other.

I bet you could rattle off a dozen more reasons, some of which have more to do with you. Like one of your references might have said something questionable about you. Or HR found something iffy about you on Facebook or LinkedIn. Or the boss’s boss, who you met for an instant, didn’t like the outfit you wore to the interview. The litany of possible showstoppers is endless.

So what do you do? First, be patient (at least for a week or two). Second, it might help to get the buzz about what’s going on in the organization from someone in your network. Third, I’ll share this from my book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®:
“When you invest your time and energy to connect with someone and you don’t hear back after persisting several times, free yourself up to pursue other opportunities. It beats getting sucked into the vortex of self-doubt that many of us introverts are prone to. While it’s important to be aware of how you approach others, it can be self-defeating to second-guess yourself and ascribe your contacts’ unresponsiveness to something you did wrong.”

Nancy Ancowitz, Self-Promotion for Introverts®: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead, McGraw-Hill, 2009, p. 112.

Copyright © 2010 Nancy Ancowitz

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