What to Write (and Avoid) in Work Emails to Advance Your Career

I was honored to be quoted recently by Daniel Bortz, a contributor to Monster.com, in13 things you should never write in a work email.”

Ah, the many thoughts and human interchanges that should never be reduced to email, and the myriad of ways you can be too casual (or not enough). Bortz captures a good many of them in his article.

Woman typing on laptop at workplace working in home office hand keyboard.

Conducting the interview for Bortz’s article, and reading it in print, brought me back to my former life as an attorney. At one point, I was tasked with reviewing a large set office correspondence. I skimmed through tons of emails. Thousands, in fact.

While the vast majority were innocuous – as boring as a string of indecisive lunch plans – I saw firsthand more than once how damaging certain private exchanges could be if they ever saw the light of day. 

A quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do a lot of damage, while a strategic one can enhance your credibility and grow your career.

Bortz is not the first, nor will he be the last, to sound the alarm on the damage – indeed, at times, the unending vortex of negative results – that a quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do. 

On the other hand, the goal with email is not only to avoid the downsides, but also to communicate, inviting others to respond and take action. So after you check out what to avoid in Bortz’s article, you can read what to include in mine: Four Steps to Creating Emails that Prompt Action and Get Results.

Anne Marie Segal 2019 Web Image Square #2 Copyright Barragan
Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, author and resume writer. She works with executives, senior attorneys and other leaders to clarify and heighten their personal branding, increase their impact and accelerate professional goals such as Board or C-Suite candidacy, other leadership advancement, career pivots and job transitions.

Image above: Adobe Stock.
Image at left: © 2019 Alejandro Barragan IV. All rights reserved.