What is Your Thanks Strategy? (As Published in 008 Magazine)
As the holidays approach, you are likely preparing the perfect family portrait, holiday cards, various gifts to send out to loved ones, and scheduling all of those holiday parties. Although this time of year can be quite busy, the season is for celebrating family and friends and to be thankful for all the important people in your life.
Yet all too often, we forget to thank those who have contributed to our professional success throughout the year. Here are the top tips to help you reach out and thank your professional network for their help this holiday season.
1) Organize Your Contacts: Your network can consist of former colleagues, previous employers, clients and other contacts you have made on the job. It is fundamental that you keep an address book with their contact information, any bits of personal information and reminders of how you are connected to them.
2) Utilize Social Media Outlets: Maintain contact with your professional network, especially those you have not contacted recently, via Facebook or LinkedIn. Send a holiday greeting expressing your gratitude for their assistance and an update on your professional progress.
3) Send a Card… or Two: Select a few individuals in your network to send a handwritten thank you letter. Include your gratitude for their contributions, an update on your current position, welcome their recommendations, and always offer to contribute to their professional development.
4) Make Time for Coffee: For those in your network that you have a closer relationship with, send invitations for coffee and lunch. This will give you an opportunity to catch up on your professional development, share resources, and express your gratitude for their assistance throughout the year.
5) Give Back: There is no better way to show your gratitude than finding ways to give back to your network. Share job openings, contacts, and other resources with individuals in your network who may be looking for a new job. You can also provide references for contacts on their business page or online profiles.