Giving Thanks – in business

It’s the Holidays, the time where you normally reach out and send messages of “Thanks” and ” Good Cheer” to people in your personal life.

Have you taken a moment to think about doing it in your professional life?

I’m NOT talking about a “Christmas Carol meets your Resume or LinkedIn Profile”. WEIRD. If that’s what you are thinking – you might want to slow up on the Egg Nog.

However – there will be some people who have had a positive impact on your career – who have reached out a hand when they didn’t have to, who worked a little behind the scenes mojo in your favor and made a way for you where there was none, who did the business Bewitched equivalent of wiggling their nose just a teeny bit, and helping make your path just a little bit straighter.

Maybe they pulled you aside and gave you a bit of advice that in that moment kept you from doing something completely career suicidal. Perhaps it was the listening ear when you were upset, tired, worn out and angry. Maybe – just maybe – they were the person who said – “You are in the wrong job. You will never be great doing this. You need to be doing that. Go do *that* and there will be no limit to what you can do.”

Most times – those interactions go un-thanked. They get a nod at best. They are rarely acknowledged for what they are – which are seminal moments for people; those quick flashes in time that change everything.

I suspect if more people took the time to appreciate the investment that someone had made in them – perhaps these moments, these path changing instants would be more prevalent.

Perhaps we are not taught to say thank you well. Or nearly often enough.

But this Holiday season – as you close out your year – I encourage you to think about the people who have had the biggest impact on your career. Odds are good – they may be the people who you count on to be your references – it often follows that the people who know you best – have seen you at both your best and worst.

Take a moment to think about how you can thank them honestly for their contribution to your career. Is it a card? Maybe they would like just a coffee and quick – “Thanks”. I’ve got one that would really rather I just sent something funny on FaceBook and a case of craft beer.

Why? Why do it at all? Because you appreciate them investing in you. The list of people who will care enough about you to do that is a lot shorter than the list of people you know in business. So take a moment to thank the ones who do invest in you because it made a difference in your life.

Give your “Business Fairy God Parents” a gift back. The gift of honest appreciation. It may be the very best present they receive this Holiday Season.

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