Defining the Chicken List

The chicken list is the list of people you are too chicken to call or email.

Everyone has a chicken list.

People on our chicken list really don’t need to be there. They are there because we think we are going to get value out of reaching out to them (they have something to offer us), and we also think the likelihood of having a good conversation is fairly low.

In other words, there is more to lose if we don’t do it right.

We are too chicken to reach out to them, because we might mess it up. And we don’t take them off our list because they might offer significant value to us.

EVERYONE has a chicken list. Successful salespeople, high level CEOs, even the people on your list have their own chicken list!

The best way to move forward is to actually reach out to the person. Sometimes this takes hours of research (are they still at the same company? What can you learn about them online?). Sometimes it takes hours of editing your message (write, and then delete some, add more, delete some, repeat.  Is your message addressing the real reason you are reaching out to them, or is it full of distractions?).  Most of the time it takes an attitude of “oh well, I’m just going to hit send,” which can take hours to build up.

Whether it takes you a few minutes “Hi Jason, I would like to reconnect this week. Do you have time for a 20 minute call?” or all day, let me encourage you to work through those communications and get this mental clutter out of your job search so you can move on!


1 thought on “Defining the Chicken List”

  1. I really like this list and the idea of creating a running list. When you think about the time you spend contemplate making a call and then actually get it done, “Playing Chicken” is time well spent and rarely as daunting as it seems.


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