A Thanksgiving Day Treat: The Turkey, and Sweet Gratitude
It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and everyone I know is scrambling to fill their larders with staples and treats that remind us of how grateful we ought to be for what we have and what our futures promise. In this post I want to remind my executive job seekers to fill their own larders with the staples they need to succeed in what promises to be a very busy job search season. I’ll wrap up by reminding everyone out there to take a moment and express their gratitude to those who have helped them throughout the year as they build their job search strategy.
The Basics that Support Your Executive Job Search
Just as we are all scrambling to the grocery store, the butcher, and the bakery to buy all the things that we need to make this Thanksgiving holiday the happiest ever, you also need to build up your stores as you continue your executive job search. Overall, you will need a smart strategy, a rich executive portfolio, and your own go-to-market strategy for impressing your interview board. These are non-negotiables. You wouldn’t think of having a family Thanksgiving without turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and apple pie. Don’t leave any of the critical elements of your job search strategy out, thinking that you will have the same experience as those who have prepared effectively. Don’t know where to go for these necessaries? There are so many professionals out there who can help you create the portfolio you need. Some of them are executive resume writers. Some are executive career coaches. And some are your personal Board of Directors – those individuals on whom you rely for expert advice on all things professional. Overall, don’t forget the essentials, and you won’t go wrong.
How to Give Thanks
Have you ever opened your e-mail to discover that one of your colleagues wrote you simply to say “thank you” for something you have done for them? It’s a rare and gratifying experience. Make it a point this season to send that kind of message to those in your personal and professional lives who have offered you something valuable.
These kinds of overtures can have two resounding effects. First, a wisely timed thank you letter reminds the addressee that you are truly grateful for what they did or how they helped you. Remember, this doesn’t just mean a letter to your interview board telling them about your value and how you can fix their pain. It means that in the day-to-day, you have people in your circle of influence who need to hear that you are grateful for the ways they have helped you achieve your goals. There is no payback for this kind of letter—except the good karma and goodwill that real gratitude demonstrates.
On the other hand, there are subtle benefits that come along with these expressions of true thanks. They reopen lines of communication, especially if your letter of thanks inquires about their situation or needs. These renewed conversations often have unanticipated future benefits, not the least of which is simply keeping your network open and available. Of course, this is not your primary motivation in reaching out to someone who has helped you over the course of the year, but it is a nice side benefit, and doing it early in the holiday season avoids having your message get lost in the upcoming holiday rush.
A Personal Note of Thanks from Me
Now, a personal message from me. I have had the most amazing 2012. I completely rebranded my business, worked with the most amazing clients I have ever had the chance to meet, wrote a lot of resumes and cover letters for them, and won first place in a national resume writing competition. I am grateful for all of these.
The sweet gratitude I feel during this season also is for each of the like-minded career management professionals with whom I have worked over the year. Some I met through Career Directors International, and some I met through The National Resume Writers Association, and some in this industry have been my friends in other contexts for decades. You all know who you are. You enrich my life personally and professionally every single day. I wouldn’t be “right” without you, and I am grateful and thankful to know each and every one of you.
More on the Thanksgiving theme:
Dawn Rasmussen of Pathfinder Writing and Career Resources, “Don’t Be a Job Search Turkey!”
Rosa Vargas of Career Steering, “The Perfect Holiday Job Search Recipe”