Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

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As I addressed previously in The Lost Art of the Thank You Note, I strongly believe saying thank you is important. It seems that in the rush to get help and information some young professionals may be forgetting this common courtesy.

If a professional offers you advice, a resume critique or job search assistance, at minimum say thank you. I’m not suggesting you buy them flowers or send chocolates, but I am suggesting you write them a note thanking them for their help and promising to keep them updated on your progress.

While you might view not sending a note as no big deal, the professional person might see it as a slight, which could hurt you in the long run. Besides, don’t you want to be known as that up-and-coming, thoughtful and polite young professional? A thank you note can help you establish that reputation.

And let’s face it, in the ever shrinking professional world, your reputation is what you make it and then how you maintain it.

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The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life

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As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on the spread of negativity in the office, I thought I would offer a possible solution.

One of my co-workers posted this article (available here) in his cubicle and it has slowly spread around the office. In my vicinity alone, I can count three other co-workers hanging it in their cublicle—including me.

I find all of the tips important and easy to remember, but a few are particular stand outs: I am just as capable as my co-worker. No one gets up in the morning wanting to have a bad day. Fixing a process is a million times easier than fixing a person. Honor the other 15 hours a person spends away from the office. Manage your own happiness.

The power to be happy at work is within your control. It is entirely up to you whether or not you leave as happy as you did when you arrived.

The Lost Art of the Thank You Note

Have you ever noticed that when you are passionate about something, the words all just flow? I’m totally over my writing block and all it took was a Thank You note.

I recently wrote a note to someone I’ve never met and probably never will. The woman will be celebrating 75 years with an organization near and dear to my heart. As a way to bridge the generations, an advisor suggested we write a note thanking this woman for her many years of service. Hands down, it was the easiest note I’ve ever written.

How many thank you notes have you written lately? I write them quite often. I thought (and have been regularly told) this wasn’t normal until I took an informal Twitter poll and discovered the “lost art of the thank you note” might not be lost after all.

TJ Dietderich recently wrote a note to someone for just doing their job and writes them often, just to be nice.

“I think it’s charming!” she said. “And it proves to people that I’m not all digital and soulless e-mailing all the time.”

Most people are savvy to writing a thank you note for a job interview, and Jason Mollica said he wrote one “thanking for an interview at my current job.” He doesn’t just write thank you notes when it might set him apart from other candidates, he writes them when his children receive a gift or a friend goes out of their way.

Jessica Kohler and Amy Z. are a kindred spirits.

“I have nightmare stories about thank you notes,” Jess said.

amy_z also often writes thank you notes for gifts or other kindnesses.

I never would have guessed that the secret to unlock my writer’s block was hiding in a thank you note.

Who is your Work Bestie?

You work around the same people for eight hours a day. It is hard not to build relationships with them. I would even call some of them friendships. But very few would earn the title, “work bestie.”

I have been lucky that every place I’ve worked, be it a newsroom or a cubicle, I’ve found that one person I can call my work bestie. This is someone who I trust. Someone I can be myself around. These people have been my friends through the ups and downs and changes. They are there for me even when we’re no longer in the same workplace.

I’ve maintained relationships with some of them for several years. I can’t imagine my life without them.

At first it was daunting to find that person. Opening up to them was even harder. But it has been so worth it.

I don’t always tell my work bestie how much I appreciate everything they do for me, every day. So, THANK YOU!

A little niceness goes a long way

After yesterday’s post about how not to interact with your co-workers, I thought we all could use a reminder that a little niceness goes a long way.

There’s something about a birthday wish from a co-worker, even if it’s on a post it note that means a lot. In my office we don’t give gifts, but we do give paper plates and plastic silverware. That trend started when our office stopped providing these things for us. The best part is we share. If you need a fork and I have one, it’s all yours.

After many years in many offices, I’ve decided the key to making it through the day is the little things. A kind word, a nice gesture. These seemingly little things make a huge difference. I don’t think we do enough of this for each other. Yes, we’re busy, but how much time does it really take to listen to the answer of how are you, instead of just racing to where you were going. Say thank you and mean it. Bring in those extra cookies you don’t want sitting on the kitchen counter. Share.

It’s like kindergarten, only hurt feelings last longer. So be nice.