It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the holiday season are upon us! If your semester has been as busy as mine has, I bet you can’t believe it, either. This time of year has lots of wonderful things to look forward to: spending time with family and friends, the end of finals, and for many of you, completing a degree and walking across the stage with your diploma in hand. As we head into this season of reflection, gratitude, and goal-setting for the new year to come, I want to encourage you to think about gratitude as it relates to your career and professional development and challenge you to find some meaningful ways to integrate it into your professional life for the entire year.
The path to career fulfillment is rarely one that is traveled alone. Think about it-how many people, professors, staff members, fellow students, friends, and family members, have helped you along the way? Taking a moment to thank a professor for a meaningful class, or letting a friend know how much that Starbucks treat lifted your spirits during finals week, makes a huge difference to people who’ve lent you a hand. It also demonstrates that gratitude and graciousness are important components of your personal brand.
When I coach students on interview skills and preparation, I always ask them this question: are you done with the interview after you’ve left the room? I usually receive several quizzical looks in response! The answer, as you may have already guessed, is no, you’re not done. Sending a brief thank you card (a real card, in the mail, is preferable, although email may be more practical depending on the type of interview conducted) is the absolute best way to complete an interview scenario. This simple step demonstrates not only gratitude for the time the employer spent with you, but also illustrates your follow-through and motivation. Talk about a return on investment—all for saying a simple thank you.
So however you will celebrate this season, take a moment to say thank you to those who’ve made a difference in your life and in your career. It’s one gift you can give to anyone that is always appreciated and will never go out of style.
Happy Thanksgiving from Kate Williams and the rest of the Anderson Team!