Business Etiquette/Should I have followed up?


I was able to find a job as a back-up babysitter. I was needed last weekend and babysat for the first time. I talked to the parents afterwards (I'd put the kids to bed so they were asleep by now) and they said they would give my information to others on the street who are always needing babysitters. But I haven't heard anything back from them yet. Did they talk to the kids and they didn't like me? Or is it normal for them not to have said anything since? Or should I have followed up with some kind of thank you? And should I still?

Keep in mind that I am only the back-up babysitter. Also, I am 17.

Dear Angie:

Thank  you for writing in to ask this great question. I would suggest following up with a thank you note, which will serve as a gentle reminder.

Your letter should thank the parents for letting you babysit their kids and also say something to the effect that you appreciate their offer to let others who are looking for sitters know of your availability. Don't forget to include your contact information!

I might suggest choosing a nice card for your Thank You from a local card store. Your note can be short but professional. Once you send it, I wouldn't expect to hear anything back from the parents directly. Hopefully, though, your letter will inspire them to spread the word about your service via word-of-mouth.

Best regards,

Vicky Oliver
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Vicky Oliver


I am an expert on traditional American business etiquette, including dining rules and regulations for the 21st century, making a good first impression (and how to fix a bad one), meeting etiquette, conversational tips, and dressing for success. I also have written about new media etiquette--how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to enhance your professional reputation. I am not an expert on wedding etiquette or international business etiquette.


I am the author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions (Skyhorse, 2010) and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005). I have received over 301 media mentions on topics pertaining to business etiquette, job interviewing, and style on a budget.

Brown University Club in New York; Trinity Alumni & Alumnae Association

The Investment Professional Magazine; Crain's New York; The Charlotte Weekly;;; The Review Mom; Personal Finance

Brown University, B.A., English Honors; double major in Political Science

Awards and Honors
How-To Winner, Paris Book Festival; How-To Runner-Up, London Book Festival; Eric Hoffer Award First Runner-Up in Business;"Best Business: Career Book of 2010" in the National Best Books Awards.

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