Note: I want to apologize for my tardiness with this post (which is ironic, since the topic is referability). I have been focusing on other projects recently, and have let my advice columns slip; for that I am sorry. That being said, let’s get down to business.
The Four Referability Habits. Yes I know referability isn’t a real word. Don’t care. What matters here is the meaning behind it. Referability is the likelihood that someone will REFER you. Trust me, in this world, you want to be referred by as many people as possible as often as possible. Have you ever heard the statement ‘it’s not what you know but who you know?’ I’m sure you have, and for you to get to know people, and more importantly for them to know you, you need them to remember you. To be remembered isn’t simply being good-looking, being successful, having a loud voice, etc. There’s much more to it than that.
1.) Be On Time. Being on time isn’t a matter of circumstance, it’s a matter of choice. When you are late to things, it shows disrespect. Mainly, to the person you are meeting, it shows that you think your time is more valuable than theirs. Not a good message to send the first time you are meeting someone (or the 1000th time). Always be 15 minutes early is something my mom told me and it stuck. When I have other people relying on me to be somewhere, especially when I am attempting to make a good impression, I will make sure I’m thirty minutes early just in case. It’s better to be there, prepared, not winded or sweaty, and completely relaxed so you can focus on the meeting at hand.
2.) Do What You Say. This goes beyond just showing up when you say you will. When you say you will do something; even as miniscule as sending an email or text message, DO IT. The first time you don’t, a person who trusts and knows you might let it slip. A person you’ve just met, especially in a professional setting, will disregard you as someone who is unreliable and therefore unfit to do business with/hire/associate with in any way. It sounds serious, because it is. In the professional world, people don’t give second chances; so don’t put yourself in the situation where you’re asking for one. Not turning an assignment in on its due date for class is one thing. Not giving a follow-up email to an interview when you said you would is something entirely different.
3.) Finish What You Start. No one likes a quitter, right? When you don’t complete tasks at work, or you turn in something that is half-assed, then people will begin to lower their standards of you. With low standards come low expectations, and with low expectations come low pay, because you aren’t getting that promotion. No matter what task you tackle, big or small, it is crucial that you follow through until the very end. That will earn you respect among your peers and your supervisors, and they will talk about your commitment. That’s a very good thing indeed.
4.) Say Please and Thank You. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? This is in my opinion the most overlooked faux pas in all of American culture. People have become very accustomed to just demanding things or merely accepting them when given. Instead, even if you know something will be given to you, say ‘please’ before you receive it. Even if it was a long time coming, say ‘thank you’ when it’s been placed in your hand. This way, people will know that you appreciate what is given to you, and you are humble. Then, when you are being considered for that new job position, the executives will remember you saying please and thank you, and they will know that you will be grateful for receiving that position. That means that you will work your hardest to prove you deserve it, and that is good for everyone involved.
Yes, these habits seem like they may all be focused on the professional world, and being involved with business. However, they are not the ‘Four Ways to Get Ahead in Business.’ They are called the Four Referability Habits for a reason. No matter who you may be interacting with, it is always good to be viewed as someone who is on time, does what they say, finishes what they start, and ALWAYS says please and thank you.
Think about it. If you had the choice of being friends with someone who had these habits and someone who didn’t, which would you choose? If you could date someone who had these habits and someone who didn’t, who would you choose? If you could hire someone for a top-level position within a company, would you want them to have these habits or not? Exactly. These can help you get ahead in any arena in life, not just work. Your friends will be more likely to invite you to hang out, your significant other will be more open and trusting with you, your teachers will be more willing to help you, and of course, you will be more likely to get that job you’re going for.
There is never a point in life where these habits should be devoid. Keep them with you at all times, and not only will you be remembered, but you will be referred. At that point, as the saying goes, it won’t matter what you know; because everyone you know will have already told everyone else they know, that matters, about YOU. Boom. Everyday you have a chance to be a better person and to make new first impressions. Try it today. Try it tomorrow. Try it everyday from now on. You’ll like what you see… I guarantee it 😉