A job search reminds us that we need each other. It’s all but impossible to land a good gig without some help along the way. Some resume feedback here. An inside connection there. A word of encouragement at just the right time.
Once you finally step onto that new job stage and accept your offer, don’t forget to follow up with the people who got you there. A simple expression of gratitude is an important final step in the job search process, for a number of reasons.
Keep in touch
Painful as it can be, a career transition is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones. It would be sad to lose these new connections after you arrive at your next destination.
Of course, once the new job begins, you’ll bid a fond farewell to the flexibility of unemployment and the extra time it allows for lunches, coffees, and phone calls. Maintain contact by looking for natural opportunities to stay in touch, starting with the post-offer thank you.
“Thank you” keeps relationships alive.
People care about you
Inviting others into your job search journey creates a natural interest in your story. Your friends and contacts encounter you in a moment of crisis and change—don’t leave them hanging!
Assume that people will be encouraged and excited, or at least pleased, to hear that you have found a job. It’s always nice to get good news, and it’s satisfying to hear that you’ve made a positive impact in someone else’s life. Sharing what you’ve learned along the way may impact them in ways you don’t realize, or benefit someone else they know.
“Thank you” is a gift to others.
Gratitude shapes attitude
Take a couple of seconds and think about all of the people who have influenced you and helped you get to where you are. Parents. Friends. Colleagues. Bosses. As you run through this mental list, it’s hard not to feel humble, moved, and grateful.
Reflecting on the fact that you’re not an island, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to figure everything out yourself, brings a sense of peace that permeates your life. Gratitude brings an empathetic desire to care for others in the same way that others have cared for you.
“Thank you” is good for the soul.
The right thing to do
There’s a difference between treating people as strategic pieces that benefit you in the game of life, and treating people as fellow travelers on the common journey of life.
If you need a job, don’t feel bad asking for help. But make an effort to use your job search to build relationships, even as you use those relationships to get a job. Approach these connections as a pleasant benefit to an otherwise difficult experience, rather than a means to an end.
A simple letter, email, Starbucks gift card, or phone call to say “thank you” to someone who has done you a favor is a great victory lap for your job search, and a way to celebrate together with the people who cheered you on.
“Thank you” makes us human.
For more helpful job search tips: Ultimate Job Search Guide: Recruiter Insider Tips