One of my favorite childhood movies was Disney’s Robin Hood. As many parents do, mine took the opportunity to use something I loved to teach me an important lesson. In the beginning of the movie, Mother Rabbit reminds one of her children to mind their manners. Her youngest child, imitating her mother, says, “Yeah, mind yo mattles.” This statement is still passed around in my family, and on occasion, we still need to remind one another to “mind yo mattles.”
In our increasingly virtual world, we sometimes forget that minding our manners is still necessary—even if they are being minded virtually. As medical transcription is a remote industry, most of your interactions with both your employer and your co-workers will be through virtual platforms. As you begin these interactions through your application process, remember to apply the following behaviors in order to portray the best impression possible.
Respect is the foundation for all manners. If we simply respect those we are interacting with, all other good behaviors will fall naturally into place. What does respect include? First and foremost, remember that you are speaking with another human being—one who, like you, isn’t perfect, but is doing the best they can. If it helps, imagine a more personal relationship. Remind yourself that the individual you are speaking with is someone’s mom, someone’s son, or someone’s best friend. How would you like those special individuals in your life to be treated? Remember this, and treat those with whom you interact with respect.
In addition, remember that this person is not only an individual but also your potential employer. With this in mind, remember to make requests, not demands. Do you have particular scheduling needs to work around? Politely request them. It is not appropriate to demand certain schedules, pay, or resources. While you can make requests, it is inappropriate to react negatively when those requests are not met. They are the employer and must do what is best for their company.
2. Listen and Respond
Communication comes through many different platforms: instant messaging, email, telephone, text messages, etc. Whatever the communication is, be sure to read through the information carefully and pay close attention to any specific requests for action. The action may be responding to the email with a bit of information. The action may be to visit a company site for more information. Or the action may be to let the employer know whether or not you will be accepting an offer. Listen and respond carefully to any of these requests. Remember, this is your chance to make a great impression. Even if you aren’t interested in an opportunity presented at the time, let the employer know. This gives you the opportunity to interact positively with a potential employer. Who knows? You might be interested in that opportunity a couple of years down the road! It is always appropriate to respond to any communication you receive from an employer.
3. Be Polite
Growing up, I received a daily reminder from my parents to “always remember your please and thank yous.” This is a behavior that we should continue throughout our lives! Using your please and thank yous lets the employer know that you are courteous and kind—the type of individual they’d like to work with!
Remember that it is not polite to begin a conversation by making demands, nor is it polite to simply hang up the phone at the end of a conversation. Always remember to begin and end a conversation with a friendly greeting. In addition, you have another opportunity to implement these behaviors when you send a note to an employer to thank them for taking the time to interview you. As they keep very busy schedules, taking the time out of their day for an interview really can put them behind. It is polite to thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
Take the program as an opportunity to develop and fine tune these skills. As you interact with your instructors, remember to apply these behaviors in order to make them habit. Then, as you begin your search for employment, think of Robin Hood and always remember to “mind you mattles.”
– Alison Dean
Graduate Support Team