Giving thanks? Don’t forget your network!

Pictured: cofee pen and card with the message, "I am so grateful for you."

Giving thanks? Don’t forget your network!

November 21, 2022

Pictured: cofee pen and card with the message, "I am so grateful for you."One of the keys to building a strong and broad professional network that people often miss is expressing gratitude.

As I write this, we’re approaching Thanksgiving. While most of us start to think about what we have to be thankful for in our lives and in our work, I think it’s easy to forget that we also need be thankful for our network.

The people in our network are important! They can help us find a new job, advance our career, and solve a problem we’re working on. We, in turn, can help them with similar challenges, and doing so makes us feel good about ourselves.

It’s important to notice and recognize the impact that our network has on us and that we have on them. And also…

Gratitude can help us strengthen our network connections!

When we recognize the people in our lives and what they’ve done for us, and when we take the time to let them know that we are thankful for them, they feel appreciated. It’s one of many steps you can take to strengthen your relationship with them.

There are some easy ways to express your gratitude, not just during Thanksgiving but all throughout the year.

Here are some ideas that will work well in a note or an email, or in person:

  • “I have been thinking about you and the value you brought to my last job search. Thank you!”
  • “I’m really excited that you taught me ________. Here’s how it helped me: ________. Thank you!”
  • “I really appreciate that we aren’t just colleagues. I consider you a friend and I really value the friendship we’ve built.”

Here are some other things you can do to connect with the people in your network:

  • Send them an article that you think they’d find be helpful. It will tell them that you are thinking about them and that you know what’s important to them.
  • Keep track of their birthday, anniversary, and any other special events. Save them in your calendar so you remember. Then and take the time to acknowledge them with a card, an email, a phone call, or a post via social media.
  • Call or email and say, “I was just thinking about you and wanted to say a quick hello.” Or “I saw ________ and you came to mind. I thought I’d reach out and see how you are doing.”

As you roll into the holidays, don’t forget to be thankful for the people who support you. When you take a moment to express that gratitude, you strengthen your relationship with them. It also reminds you of an important reality: None of us succeed alone. We need each other!

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