I was taught to write a thank you note when I received a gift. I still write them.
A thank you note is equally valuable in the workplace. In the past year, I’ve met with a few individuals who have sought career advice. I was pleasantly surprised when each one followed up with a thank you note. One or two were by email, and the rest were by snail mail. It didn’t matter to me how they sent them.
The act of sending the notes all but ensures we’ll continue to have a professional connection. It’s a thoughtful acknowledgement of the time I willingly gave to them. It reinforces for me, the importance of continuing to do so.
Thank you notes also remain important after interviewing for a job. While a lack of a thank you won’t eliminate a candidate, receiving a thank you, definitely elevates a candidate in my mind because it indicates that the person has social graces.
After two weeks at a new job, I gave my boss a thank you card. I wanted to acknowledge the time she had spent with me helping to orient me to the environment, and also to thank her for the extras she had done to make my first two weeks welcoming.
I also send thank you cards throughout the year to colleagues. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a note thanking him for his hard work and dedication. The note doesn’t need to be long, but it should be sincere and specific. When I left my last job, I wrote a note to each of my teammates. I thanked each one for his or her contributions and for making it fun to be on the team.
A thank you note doesn’t take long, but it lasts a long time.