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10 Common Email Mistakes You’re Probably Making At Work

10 Common Email Mistakes You’re Probably Making At Work

There are times when we start to become too comfortable at work. We may not dress as sharp or adorn our offices with personal items that may not be always appropriate. One sign of being too comfortable at work is to become lax on your emails. Here are some email mistakes you may be making.

1. You’re not holding up your end of the bargain

Some people go through a lot of trouble crafting emails that contain a lot of information. If you’re answering those emails with a single sentence then you’re really not holding up your end of the bargain. Answer emails with the appropriate amount of information otherwise people will know you’re figuratively phoning it in.

2. Your emails are full of typos and colloquialisms

If you respond to an email and it says, “sure thing bro, i will b at the meeting by 9. see u there,” that’s probably the wrong way to do it. Even in business environments that are more laid back, it’s important to keep your business communications professional. You never know when you may accidentally send it to someone who isn’t okay with communications like that and you get in trouble. It may take a few extra seconds but it’s better than calling your boss a bro. That’s not cool.

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3. You’re adding smiley faces to your emails

email mistakes

    You may think it’s cute and helps denote the tone of your words, but 44% percent of people believe it’s wildly unprofessional to put smiley faces in business emails. Since that’s nearly half, that means you essentially have a 50/50 shot at sending a smiley to someone who won’t appreciate it. Do yourself a favor and simply don’t.

    4. Your OOTO messages are too rude

    When you’re out of the office, you may leave messages in a hurry so it may be short and gruff. You may not mean any offense or rudeness by it but unfortunately text doesn’t have a tone of voice. Take the extra few seconds and concoct an OOTO message that is appropriate and friendly so people don’t think you’re being mean. It’s a problem that’s easily avoided and solved.

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    5. You don’t leave OOTO messages

    One big mistakes you can make is not handling the emails that come in when you’re gone. If there’s an emergency, someone emails you, and you don’t leave an OOTO message, someone is going to think you dropped the ball. People get downright mad when you don’t let people know you’re out of the office.

    6. You send emails before reviewing the entire conversation

    These days, emails are shown in threads rather than individual responses. Sometimes you may look at the first email and not notice that there are other replies. If you miss them and respond to an email you may end up answering a question or request that’s already been answered. Aside from being embarrassing, it’ll also cause people to question your competence.

    7. You forget to send the attachment or send the wrong attachment

    This one is easy enough to do and everyone does it every now and then. If you plan on sending files along with your email, you have to remember to add them to the email. Not doing so can make others angry at you, gum up the work flow, and even cause more problems if you send it at the end of the day, forget the attachment, and don’t find out until the next day! It just takes a little bit of brain power so don’t forget!

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    8. You failed to include a basic greeting

    email mistakes

      You wouldn’t believe the effect of saying the word “hi” or “hello” when sending an email. Think about it in real life. Would you walk up to someone randomly at work and just telling them stuff? Of course not, you’d said hi or find a way to get their attention first. Emails work much the same way. When you don’t include a greeting, it’s considered rude which can cause problems even when there isn’t one. It’s just a few keystrokes, don’t forget to include the hi!

      9. You don’t use BCC or CC correctly

      In an email there are three fields. There is the main contact box where you put the subject in the email. The CC is the carbon copy and those people will receive a copy of the email and the original recipient will know that the other people have been CC’d. BCC is called a blind carbon copy. People in the BCC get a copy of the email but no one else will know that person got a copy of the email. Don’t use this too often because if people find out that others can see these communications then you’ll be the office snitch. Being a whistleblower can be all good but being the office snitch isn’t.

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      10. Your tone in your email is all wrong

      Text does have a tone. The problem is that the tone is dependent on the person reading it but it doesn’t always have to be. The way you craft your sentences guides people on how to read it. If your sentences are gruff and frank then people will assume you’re communicating in a gruff and blunt manner. Take a little extra time to write full, descriptive sentences so people don’t think you’re being a jerk. It’ll go a long way.

      Pretty much all email mistakes are simple mistakes that are easy to fix. All it requires is a little bit of attention. Communication is important in all forms and that includes electronically. Just keep it smooth and professional and you’ll anger the least number of people.

      Featured photo credit: On Sugar via media4.onsugar.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on July 18, 2019

      How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

      How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

      Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

      However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

      Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

      Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

      There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

      Better Job Offers

      Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

      People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

      Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

      You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

      Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

      A Shot at Entrepreneurship

      Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

      We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

      13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

      1. Update Your Resume

      You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

      Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

      While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

      There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

      2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

      Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

      That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

      To hone this skill:

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      Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

      Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

      This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

      How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

      3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

      Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

      Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

      To hone this skill:

      Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

      4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

      No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

      Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

      To hone this skill:

      Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

      Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

      These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

      The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

      5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

      Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

      How to hone this skill:

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      Practice being resourceful.

      Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

      Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

      No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

      If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

      Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

      The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

      Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

      How to hone this skill:

      Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

      Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

      17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

      7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

      Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

      What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

      How to hone this skill:

      Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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      Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

      5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

      8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

      Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

      Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

      How to hone this skill:

      Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

      Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

      What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

      9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

      How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

      Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

      How to hone this skill:

      Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

      Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

      The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

      10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

      Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

      How to hone this skill:

      Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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      Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

      What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

      11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

      Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

      You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

      How to hone this skill:

      All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

      12. Build Networks and Relationships

      You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

      Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

      How to hone this skill:

      Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

      To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

      How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

      Final Thoughts

      Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

      You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

      Happy career switching!

      More Resources About Career Advancement

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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