One Follow-Up Attempt Is All You Need

Katie Corbett holds the book "2-Hour Job Search"

By Katie Corbett


When you are looking for a job or for your next freelance project, it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of following up with the same prospects over and over. Following up more than once saps time and energy, and it makes you feel like you are being productive when you are not actually reaching out to new people.


I read about only following up once in “The 2-Hour Job Search,” by Steve Dalton. Here are some reasons following up only once is preferable.


  • You won’t need to worry about annoying anyone.
  • You will be forced to focus on finding fresh leads.
  • You won’t keep contacting the same people over and over.
  • You will be getting work done that gets you closer to your goals.
  • You will be building relationships with new people.
  • The people you have been following up with won’t have to figure out how to get you off their backs.
  • People won’t feel obligated to work with you just to get you to stop following up.
  • You will find people who are ready to take action now.


I’ve set a rule in my business that I’m only going to follow up once with new prospects. I’m already excited about how much less stressed I will be as I implement this rule. This will be true, of course, unless more follow-ups are specifically requested. If someone explicitly tells you to follow up at a specific time, definitely do so. I got my first paying case studies writing client because I continued to follow up on the schedule that my prospect requested.


When you do reach-outs, try following up only once. Do you notice changes in how you use your time and energy moving forward? Do you notice changes in the number of people you’re able to contact as a result? I’d love to hear more about it, so leave me a comment.


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Landing a Job You Really Want: How to Identify Dream Employers

Katie Corbett holds the book "2-Hour Job Search"

By Katie Corbett


When you are looking for a job, it can be fun to think about places you might like to work. You can make a list and reach out to them. I’ve done this several times and frequently gotten interviews.


I saw this idea as a suggestion in “The 2-Hour Job Search,” by Steve Dalton. Here is a list of questions I found helpful when hunting down those dream employers.


  1. When you were young, where did you think it might be cool to work?
  2. When you watch TV, listen to the radio, and read printed advertisements, what companies stand out to you?
  3. Do you think it might be cool to work for some companies, but are feeling intimidated? What are those companies?
  4. Are there companies you’ve heard of whose mission stands out to you as inspiring?
  5. Look through lists of best places to work in your area. Do any of them stand out to you as cool places to work?


I encourage you to make a list of your top ten dream employers. Check within your network to find out if you already know someone who works there. Knowing someone who works there might make it seem less intimidating, and you already have a connection to get your foot in the door.


I have a friend who works for Google, and I talked with them about the application and interview process before applying. It was fun to be able to learn what the process was like before applying and know that I knew someone who worked there. Knowing that I applied was cool, even though I didn’t end up progressing beyond to the interview stage. I’m glad that I didn’t let Google’s larger-than-life reputation intimidate me from filling out an application.


Have you ever reached out to or applied for a job with a dream employer? How did it go? I’d love to hear your story, so feel free to share it in the comments.


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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


Intellectual intelligence is fixed. You can’t get any smarter than you already are. But did you know about emotional intelligence?


I first learned about it when I read the book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry. Emotional intelligence, or EQ for short, is the ability to recognize and respond to your emotions in healthy, situationally appropriate ways. It also entails recognizing and responding to the emotions of others. The great news is that you can always get better at these skills. Here are some reasons to keep improving:


  • People with high EQ’s do better in their careers.
  • EQ will make you a more empathetic, likeable person.
  • EQ will help you recognize the signs of stress in your life so you can reduce times of frustration.
  • EQ will help you communicate with others more effectively.
  • EQ will help you handle otherwise difficult conversations.
  • Working on your EQ will help you set benchmarks for soft skills (communication, emotional management) that can be otherwise tough to assess.
  • A higher EQ can help you more effectively manage conflict.
  • EQ can help you leave or defuse situations before they get out-of-hand.
  • Increasing your EQ can give you new behaviors to learn and new goals to set.
  • Improving your EQ will help you ask for and receive feedback from others, so you’ll be able to stop negative or annoying behaviors before they become a problem.


If you want to learn more about what EQ is, I strongly encourage you to check out Emotional Intelligence 2.0. You can find out where you stand in the four areas of EQ: Self-awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and relationship Management. The book also provides concrete action steps to help you track your progress and improve.


Do you have questions about or experience with EQ? Drop me a comment; I’d love to hear more.


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Never Work with Anyone Who Gives You a Headache or a Stomachache

Katie Corbett holds the book "201 Great Ideas for your Small Business"

By Katie Corbett


I’ve learned to pay attention to my body. It can tell me if I’m feeling comfortable, doing work I love, or even if I’m working with toxic people. I’ve since set a rule about not working with or for people who give me a headache or a stomachache.


In “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business,” by Jane Applegate, I read that paying attention to how your body is feeling in certain situations can help you evaluate situations, even if everything appears fine on the surface. I worked in a toxic work environment for ten months. Occasionally I would have a difficult meeting or become aware that something wasn’t right. As I reflect on the signals my body was sending, even when things seemed fine, I knew deep in my gut that it wasn’t a great place to be. Here’s what I noticed:


  • I often got the feeling that I was being watched.
  • I jumped and startled easily.
  • I would sometimes cry at work because I felt overwhelmed.
  • I often had the feeling that I was barely surviving.
  • I got stomachaches and headaches in the morning before going to work and on Sunday nights as the weekend was ending.
  • I felt a sinking sensation whenever anyone said they wanted to meet or talk with me.


These were just a few of the ways my body was trying to tell me I was in a toxic environment. I hope that if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you’ll recognize it sooner than I did.


Our bodies are amazing and they can tell us how to know about whether we are in a toxic work environment. Pay attention to the body signals you are getting. I also encourage you to set the boundary, as I have, that you won’t work with someone who gives you a headache or a stomachache.


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The Benefits of a Day Job

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Renaissance Soul"

By Katie Corbett


I write about life satisfaction a lot on this blog. It might surprise you, then, to learn that I sometimes do work that isn’t satisfying to get to where I want to end up eventually. This long-game approach helps me keep my end-goals in mind and to be grateful for all the things that do bring satisfaction.


You might have noticed that my day job is not one of my Focal Points. My business is, though, and my job gives me the ability to run my business without pressure. A job might have other benefits as well.


In “The Renaissance Soul,” Margaret Lobenstine lists the many benefits of having a job while pursuing a larger goal. I have found the following to be true of my day job:


  • It pays my bills and covers my living expenses.
  • I can pursue my hobbies without financial worries.
  • My job brings me closer to more personal and professional connections.
  • It provides an insider view of how a company is run.
  • I have had the chance to try new things, like being a hand model and riding an autonomous vehicle.
  • It has provided writing training, and I got paid to learn.
  • I have made friends with my coworkers.
  • I have had the opportunity to talk with those from different walks of life.
  • It has helped me reflect on what kind of manager I could be.
  • It covers the cost of products and services I need to run my business.


Listing the benefits of my job helps me approach each workday from a place of gratitude. This is important on those days when things are tough.


What are benefits you get from your job? How does your day job help you live your dreams? Tell me in the comments.


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Why am I on the Payroll?: Thinking About Results

Katie Corbett holds a book

By Katie Corbett

When evaluating your career, thinking about what you bring to each job you do is important. I find it necessary from time to time to ask myself some questions to keep the challenges of my job in perspective and contemplate the value I bring to my position.

Brian Tracy, author of “Eat that Frog”, says it can be helpful to start by asking yourself this question: Why am I on the payroll? I’ve added some other questions to create a list you might find helpful to ponder.

1. Why am I on the payroll?
2. In what ways does my role bring value to the company?
3. In what specific ways do I bring value to my position?
4. What unique skills do I bring?
5. What attitudes do I bring that contribute to my success?
6. Why did I choose this job in the first place?
7. Why do I think my employers chose me for this position?
8. How has the company improved since I’ve been there?
9. How has my department improved as a result of me working there?
10. What are the perks of my job and how is my value recognized?

Take a few minutes and jot down whatever comes to mind. You might gain a new appreciation for your current role.

And if you are unemployed or between jobs, think about your favorite job and answer these questions in regards to that position. It might provide insight for your job search, such as what to look for in your next job or what skills you can bring to a new company.

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