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When Giving Thanks, Don’t Forget Your Career Connections

thank-youAt this time of year, many of us will gather with friends and family to give thanks, watch football, and of course, eat more than we do any other day of the year. As you think about the people and things in your life that you are thankful for, don’t leave off those who have helped you in your career.

It’s true that few of us get ahead in our tech careers without the support of mentors, colleagues and fellow industry professionals. We all need those connections no matter what stage we’re at in our career—fresh out of school, looking to make a major transition, simply interested in a different organization, or looking to hire new talent.

Whether you’re regularly in touch with those who have supported your career, or you haven’t reached out in a while, Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to express your appreciation, especially to the people who never seem to get thanked.

Gratitude Goes a Long Way
Deciding how best to reach out to your tech career connections to give thanks can be challenging, especially since examples of workplace gratitude can be hard to find. That said, how to thank your supporters needn’t be too concerning—no one (ever!) is going to complain about the format that they received kudos and praise.

To start, consider your relationship and then tailor your delivery to the recipient—some people prefer to be acknowledged in private, others in public, some face-to-face and others electronically.

If you’re comfortable texting or emailing your career supporters directly, go for it. Social media can also lend a helping hand; send LinkedIn messages or a shout out on Twitter. You can also go old-school and craft a hand-written note of praise. And, if you’ve got a great relationship or are looking to reconnect, nothing beats a genuine invitation for coffee, lunch or drinks.

No matter what your method of communication, an expression of gratitude can go a long way.

Pay It Forward
This time of year is also an opportunity to pay it forward. Ask your career supporters how you can help them with a project, a challenge or a career question. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed and you may turn them in to your career champions.

Make Gratitude an Everyday Occurrence
We all have the power to make other people feel appreciated, so why stop with just Thanksgiving? Try making it an everyday occurrence. Everyone you work and interact with will appreciate the gratitude.

‘Tis the season for giving thanks and sharing kindness with others, even within our professional networks. Gobble. Gobble.

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