The Importance of Following Up

by Nicholas W. Richardson on Jan. 28, 2014

Divorce & Family Law 

Summary: An article on the importance of following up based on true life experiences of Nick Richardson.

I’ve occasionally volunteered to meet with undergraduates interested in law school and 
those with journalism backgrounds like me. What has surprised me most about these 
interactions is the lack of follow up from those seeking insight. I too made this mistake 
earlier in my career in various ways, but when I missed out on a potentially huge 
opportunity because I didn’t follow up, I learned my lesson. 
In one such instance, I met with a recent graduate thinking about law school after 
graduation from Mizzou’s Journalism School, my undergraduate alma mater. This 
student’s path and experience to date mimicked my own, so needless to say, I looked 
forward to our meeting. 
This potential attorney arrived early, dressed the part and presented himself in such a 
positive way that I jokingly ended our meeting with “You’re Hired.” I reminded this 
student to get in touch because I had offered to connect him with a colleague currently 
practicing in the area he was most interested in. 
I told my contact about this student and asked about the possibility of an informational 
interview, an opportunity my mentee asked about in our meeting. But this recent grad 
never got in touch. I wanted to follow up with him. At the same time though, I needed to 
feel 100-percent confident in attaching myself to any possible connection. This lack of 
follow through resulted in him missing out on what could have lead to part-time work. 
A month later, another contact mentioned an opening that reminded me of this same 
person’s dream job. But, since he didn’t follow up initially, I—again—couldn’t make a 
connection. The lesson: Simply follow up. 
After meeting with anyone providing career-related advice, send a quick email thanking 
the person for his/her time and offer to stay in touch. A few weeks later, it’s completely 
OK to send another email to check in or provide an update your job hunt. If you never 
hear back, then maybe this won’t be a strong networking relationship for you, but this 
example shows that you never know who might be able to connect you with the 
connection to your dream job. 

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