October 14, 2013
Have you thanked your boss lately?
Here in the Seattle area, we're known as being a very polite (and sometimes introverted) bunch of people, even when it comes to driving on crowded freeways during rush-hour traffic. Being polite (and introverted) means we may not speak out enough when it comes to thanking others.
For example, sometimes it's easy to take bosses for granted, especially if they're great. Oct. 16 is National Boss's Day -- a terrific opportunity to do something nice for a boss you really appreciate.
About National Boss's Day
Patricia Bays Haroski started the holiday back in 1958 by registering it with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She chose that day because it was her father's birthday -- and her father just happened to be her boss.
Her idea was to designate a day to show appreciation to bosses and improve relationships between employees and managers. In 1962, the governor of Illinois backed the registration and it became official. Over the years, Boss's Day has gone international and is celebrated in many countries, including Australia, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Ideas for saying "thank you"
• Buy a card and have everyone in the department sign it
• Have everyone pitch in a little money and take the boss to lunch
• Give a gift card (such as for Starbucks, American Express, Target, a restaurant, etc.); be creative based on the boss's hobbies or interests
• Give a small gift; examples include a cookbook signed by everyone (for a foodie), two tickets to an athletic event (for the sports enthusiast) or tickets to a new movie
• Bake a dessert to be shared with the entire department
• Surprise your boss with a bouquet of flowers or potted plant (simple, but always an effective gesture of thanks)
Tips for creating a better working relationship
While you're in a thankful mood, now's the time to consider ways you can improve your relationship with your boss. Here's how:
• Realize that the pressure your boss has at work may be different than the stress you're under. Keep in mind he/she reports upward, to someone else, and has goals and objectives to accomplish.
• Strive to understand what keeps your boss up at night. What most worries him or her about the business? Figure out ways you can help your boss be successful.
• Show management your value to the company by making an effort to determine ways to help your boss solve problems and improve the business.
Happy Boss's Day to all the wonderful bosses out there!
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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