The extra mile is never that far

I just found myself glad I did something that I was initially hesitant to do. In the end, it wasn’t that hard and didn’t take up much of my time, and it made a huge difference to someone important in my life. In fact, I’m now a little embarrassed that I wasn’t on-board at first. Silly me.

The thing is, I do this all the time. Sometimes it’s inertia, sometimes I’m feeling selfish. I guess it’s just easier to say No than it is to say Yes.

But really, the extra mile is never that far, and it’s not exactly crowded with people. (I suppose that’s why we call it The Extra Mile. If everyone was doing it, we’d call it The Standard Mile. (I think I’ll try to socialize that term.))

I’ve been following a thread on Brazen Careerist this week about sending hand-written thank you notes after an interview. My advice: always do it. Two reasons: 1) It’s easy to do, and 2) fewer and fewer candidates do it, so you’ll stand out. How could anyone argue against this? Hand-written thank yous, versus email thank yous, are Going The Extra Mile. So do it.

Some other no-brainers that most would consider going the extra mile:

  • Check the LinkedIn profile of anyone you’re going to meet, even if it’s a church group or social event.
  • Bake cookies for someone–even those pre-cut cookies. I mean, they’re in the oven for 8 minutes.
  • Write someone a recommendation on LinkedIn without being asked.
  • Write someone a long email, and share your thoughts and feelings on things. All we get over email these days is 3 – 5 sentences with shallow thoughts and questions.
  • Buy someone something. I was at coffee with an acquaintance a year or more ago, and I bought a caramel with sea salt to go with my light roast. More than 6 months went by before we saw each other again. The next time she came to my office, she brought me a sea salt caramel. Wow. Now I’d do anything for her, and all she did was spend $.59 on a little candy.
  • Tell someone you’re glad you work together. Especially someone who won’t expect it.

I’ve never been sorry I went the extra mile. Not once. But I seem to forget this. So I’m making a public promise to myself to go the extra mile as much as I can. And it’s the year of the rabbit, so . . .



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