November is National Career Development Month, which means it’s a great time to reflect and be thankful about the progress you’ve made in your career up to this point. Whether you’re happy in your current job or frustrated with your situation, continuing to improve your mindset towards your job, colleagues and boss can make a big difference in your career growth. Implementing gratitude into your professional life can help you keep a positive attitude, identify new career growth opportunities, and even help you advance your career quicker.
A life of gratitude starts with small, yet important steps that can help create healthy career habits going into the new year. We’re sharing five tips you can use to start incorporating gratitude into your work life and increase your career growth opportunities.
1. Ask for constructive feedback
Listening to feedback isn’t always easy. Especially when it’s about the things you may or may not be doing so well in your job. However, feedback is perhaps one of the most crucial steps when it comes to career growth. Constructive feedback helps you understand where you can improve, or shed light on what your managers would like you to be doing better. Most importantly, feedback is very valuable, especially when it is coming from your leaders and colleagues. When colleagues take the time to provide feedback, they are helping you become a better person and professional, and that’s something to be thankful for!
2. Be thankful for what others can teach you
“You could be the next person to succeed if you choose to learn from successful people instead of being envious of them. Moreover, aren’t they successful because they learned and continue to learn from others?”
― Edmond Mbiaka
There is always something to be learned from the people who are doing better. They have learned something you don’t know yet, and you should use humility and gratitude to acknowledge this. Start creating professional connections with the people who have the jobs you want to have in the future. Shadowing these individuals and studying the way in which they do their job can teach you things you may not have been able to learn otherwise. The new knowledge and skills you gain from this will be humbling and ultimately make you feel grateful for the opportunity to continue learning from mentors and other colleagues in the future.
3. Acknowledge how far you’ve come
It’s easy to undervalue just how much your efforts contribute to the growth of your employer. That thinking can lead to lowered career confidence and even a lower salary. When you take a moment to reflect on just how much of an impact your work makes, it can help you feel more confident and grateful. Try jotting down a list of your professional accomplishments within the last year and think about how you felt when you reached them. All progress is great progress and that’s definitely something to be thankful for. As a plus, once you complete your list, you can use it to update your resume!
4. Recognize and thank your colleagues
Recognizing a coworker’s recent win may seem like a small gesture, but its effects can have a positive impact in your professional life. When you take the time to thank colleagues for their hard work, it creates a more positive and healthy work culture that everyone can benefit from. It shows that people are appreciated, and when you take the time to become grateful for the work of others, it can position you as a leader that can play well with others. Thanking a coworker doesn’t need to take much time or effort; a short email will do the trick.
5. Be thankful for your leaders
Having a bad boss can have a negative impact on employees in more ways than you may realize. This can leave employees feeling “miserable while at work, and that misery follows them home, compounding their stress and negatively affecting their overall well-being,” according to a Gallup report.
While it’s easy to label a boss as a “bad manager,” it can be more beneficial to look for the positive things in a boss, rather than the bad. Focusing on their positive traits can help you shift your focus away from any negative feelings you may have for them. If you want to take things a step further, try thanking your boss in person for something nice they did for you last week. If saying it in person is hard, try shooting them a quick email. A simple gesture of gratitude toward your boss can make their day. It could even give them an opportunity to reciprocate gratitude towards you in other areas that can help you boost your career growth.
Being thankful beyond National Career Development month
Living a life of gratitude can lead to a brighter attitude and outlook in your career, and it can have a positive impact in many other areas of your life as well. While National Career Development month is a perfect time to start these habits, carrying them into the new year and onward can maximize the benefits that come from gratitude. Want more ways you can use gratitude in your professional life? Try these five easy ways to incorporate gratitude into your work day.