You heard an interesting speaker who provided her contact info. Someone you know referred you to a new contact. You connected to someone on LinkedIn. But you never followed through on the potential next steps.

You got assigned a project and completed it just fine but you never talked with your boss about what went well and any lessons you learned. You took a course or attended a conference, paid for by your company, but you have not passed on anything you learned that might be useful to your boss or peers.

Managers praise those who follow through and lament those who do not. When I have been successful over the years, it has almost always involved a lot of follow through. Reading the research, follow through is a significant differentiation between the more and less successful people.

What does this mean for your job search?

Every contact and connection is worth your time to make and develop into something.

  • * When someone interesting offers you a contact opportunity, take advantage.
  • * When you elect to connect with someone online or in person, make an effort to develop that connection for mutual benefit.
  • * When you get a referral, make the connection – and remember to tell the referrer that you did so in a thank you note.
  • * When you get the job you want, remember to say thanks to all of those who helped you along the way.
  • * Keep your connections active along the way, don’t just reach out when you need the next job.

What does this mean for your career?

Developing the habit of follow through consistently will raise your value in the eyes of those you work for and with. It will make it easy to get promoted or transferred or find a new job as you seek to grow and thrive. And people will like you – which is another key factor in long term success.