“Reply All” Can Damage Your Career

“Reply All” Can Damage Your Career

replyall_buttonDid you end up with a job that necessitates you using a computer to email people a lot?  If so, watch out for that career killing “Reply All” button.  You know that button.  It’s one of the ones that allows you to reply to an email you received.  But what if the sender sent the email out to 50 company members and each one decided to Reply All saying “thanks” or “got it” or something else to that effect?

That leaves you with 50 emails, that have no useful content, hogging space in your work email.  The situation can easily get worse if one of the group has something valid to say to another group member but sends it Reply All.  You quickly have a bunch of spam emails that start to clog up your inbox but worse than that you have a boss who is getting annoyed because he/she has better things to do than waste time with emails that do not apply to him/her.

Bosses (and coworkers) quickly start having negative perceptions of people who do not use Reply All correctly and those perceptions can hurt you down the road.  Use Reply All when your response is pertinent to the whole group.  If it does not apply to everyone then use Reply and list the names of the people that should get that email.

Reply All is a useful option if used correctly.  When you do use it correctly nobody is going to notice.  You’re not going to get any credit.  No one is going to say “the great thing about John is he always uses Reply All correctly”.  However using it incorrectly will get you attention.  It will just be attention of the negative variety.