5 Phone Calls You Should Make Every Week to Get Ahead in Your Career
The habit can help drive your best ideas forward
Earlier this year, I wrote about the seven emails you should send every week to get ahead in your career. Getting into people’s inboxes can help you strengthen your connections, stay top of mind as opportunities come up, and learn about industry trends. But sometimes, you want to dive deeper than a few paragraphs. For that, my tool of choice is the good, old-fashioned phone call.
I reserve at least an hour a day to take calls while going for a walk — it’s my all-in-one networking, ideation, and Vitamin D solution. I like to choose a mix of people to call every week: folks who challenge me, see things differently than me, and can fill in the blindspots in my career. Try the habit yourself. Here are the five calls you should make every week.
A call that you use as a sounding board
At the beginning of every week, my friend Marina Glazman and I send each other quick emails of what we’re working on, and then 24 hours later, we’ll hop on a call to hash out the list. I value Marina’s perspective on which ideas and tasks are an effective use of my time and which ones aren’t. I get a chance to vocalize my ideas, which helps me to quickly tighten my thinking.
I might say to her: “Here are the bones of two articles I’m thinking about — do you have anything to add, subtract, or move around some to make the argument stronger?” Or: “I’m thinking about doing X. What am I missing?”
If you do creative work for a living, find your own sounding board — someone with good taste who will give it to you straight. There’s something magical about having a thinking partner who knows both you and your work inside and out. It can seriously help drive your best ideas forward.
A call to someone who stretches you
Oliver Burkeman, the former life-advice columnist for The Guardian, once wrote that when deciding what we want to do with our careers, we should choose what stretches us over what comes easily. I like this idea. I think it’s also a good rule to follow when deciding who we should spend our time with.