What To Do After You Get Advice

Follow up with the people who generously dispense nuggets of wisdom.

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GL Hoffman

This is for recent college graduates, networkers, and friends of friends.

You may have already discovered the one universal truth about relationship building, career advancement, and mentoring: People love giving advice. Asking “would you help me?” and “may I get some career advice from you?” nearly always get you to third base. Say it aloud: People love giving advice. It fascinates me to hear there are people who still think otherwise.

OK. Just remember it is not a one-way street. With advice cometh responsibility, saith someone like Socrates, and this is what was meant:

You have a responsibility to keep your advice-giver “in the loop” as we say. He or she does derive some amount of ego-pleasure in the moment, when you are rapt and taking notes on each little utterance. But he wants to know how you applied his advice, and if it worked, or not. It takes five seconds to jot a note or send an E-mail, and trust me--this will pay huge dividends for you.

Because most advice-takers don’t take the time. They take your networking contacts and never let you know how the future meeting went. They forgot. I think it is just plain rude and poor manners.

So the next time you get some advice, plan to be a future correspondent--maybe for a long, long time. There are a few people I have helped over the years who, even now, jot me notes on their achievements and the basics of their lives--a nice friendly update, as it were.

I never find it weird. In fact, it makes me want to help even more--if not them, others.

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.

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