Catching up and touching base

When I see an email with the subject line “catching up” or “touching base” I immediately categorize the email as somebody selfishly wanting something from me.

We haven’t spoken in a decade. You didn’t bother to make contact till now. But you’re looking for a new job so you want to “touch base”.

You didn’t bother to return my last email to you but now you want an introduction to somebody I know, so you want to “catch up”.

You’ve got to give to get

My grandmother told me that if you want to receive a letter, you have to write one first. Wise advice.

The more you give, the more you can ask.

Give to get applies in social networking as well. Be helpful and share. Good things will come back to you.

Think about what you can do for others. Give gifts. Write thank you notes. Make introductions. Connect people who should know one another. Review someone’s book. Suggest a job opening to a friend. Link to a blog. Re-Tweet. Like.

Say what you mean

There is nothing wrong with asking for a favor.

But use a descriptive email subject like: “I would like an introduction to Samantha” instead of saying: “touching base”.

Instead of “catching up” as your subject line, it’s fine to say: “I am looking for a new gig and would like your advice”.

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