Phoning in your good fortune

We've all been there: waiting to get an important phone call returned.

It's a scenario that feels especially crucial when you're a business owner, especially when you're just starting out, and you feel like your company's future success hinges on that one call being returned. It also can be life and death when you're unemployed and broke, and hoping against hope that your future employer calls you back before your phone is shut off. And, of course, that whole "phone home" line was an important part of the plot in the movie, E.T.

So when career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman offered some advice to me on getting people to return phone calls, all I could think was, "Where were you when I was a sophomore in high school, and waiting for Buffy Johnson to call me back...?"

Well, never mind. Deborah is an expert at getting people to return her calls (well, at least, I returned hers), and so if you're hoping to land a big business deal or that dream job, you'd do well to consider following her advice.