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Thank You Cards


Rejection is a tough thing. It never feels good, does it?

I finally got the email I’d been expecting. I already said this before, but its official now. I did not get the job I recently interviewed for.

I suspected this was the case, as I’d been told the “winner” (for lack of a better term) would be notified in early February. But it still stings just a little.

But instead of being all boo-hoo and sorry for myself, it has made me so incredibly grateful for the job I do have. I make great money working part-time from home and I really enjoy what I do. Of course I wish I could transition into a full-time position, but that doesn’t make me any less grateful for my current employment situation.

As I lay in bed last night I was thinking about how lucky I am to have my current online teaching job. I’ve never fully explained how I got the position. While in grad school I made friends with several other graduate students. No big deal, right? Well, two of them went off to separate areas of the country, both landing academic jobs (let’s call them Sara and Kara). One of them (my current boss, Sara) was talking to the other (Kara) through text one day and asked about people who might be interested in this online teaching position. Kara mentioned my name, knowing that I’d recently graduated and would probably do a good job in the position. Sara, also having been one of my grad school friends, reached out and asked me about my interest in the position. I happily accepted and the rest is history.

Sara has been good to me. You may recall that this past boss’ day I spent entirely too much money on flowers (I think about $50-$60ish??) to be delivered to her office as a thank you for simply being an awesome boss. No joke – one of the top 5 bosses I’ve ever had in my life!

But I realized I’ve never done anything to thank Kara for hooking me up with Sara’s job. After all, it had been Kara who initially threw my name out. If Kara had suggested someone else, Sara may never have thought to contact me and I could be in a very different (UNEMPLOYED) situation right now.

I wanted to send Kara some flowers with a nice thank you note. That’s what you do, right?

But – you’ll be proud – I stopped myself!

Do I really need to send flowers as a thank you? Is that really the best way to handle the situation? It’s certainly not the cheapest, and Lord knows that we don’t have extra money to be throwing around this month!!!

So I’ve come up with a better plan: A hand-written thank you note.

No one sends hand-written cards anymore, do they? I mean, maybe a birthday card or a mother’s day card, but never a thank you card!! And I can actually write more than I would on the little auto-generated message thing you can include with flowers. I can really express my gratitude on a deeper level and let her know how thankful I am for that fateful conversation Kara had with Sara and how its impacted my life for the better.

But it gets even better….

I have a random Starbucks gift card (my mom got it from a client around Christmas time and gave it to me since she doesn’t drink coffee). I haven’t used it and think I’ll include it in the thank you card for Kara. Then it costs me nothing more than the time to write the card and the postage to mail it off. And it’s just a simple way to say thank you for hooking me up with my job.

But I don’t want to stop there.

The more I thought about this idea of sending out a hand-written thank you, the more I thought how meaningful and special it can be (even without the gift card inside). So I’m going to spend some time pondering this, and see if I can think of other people I’d really like to send a thank you to. I know how much happiness a simple thank you card would bring me, and I’d love to bless some of my friends with the same feeling. It feels good when people recognize what you do and appreciate you for it.

So that will be my cheap gift-giving for the month: some hand written thank you notes.

Why don’t you join me? I challenge you to come up with 2-3 people you’d like to send a thank you to, too! Why not spread a little happiness to others? We can always use a little boost and you never know how much it might brighten another’s day!

What do you do when you want to thank someone for something they’ve done? Do you have any other cheap ideas?


  • Reply Jackie |

    That is such a nice idea. Just realized I should send one to my job coach (for the lack of a better word) at the Career Center. She is the one to got me hooked up in the job training program I’m in now. I would have never known about this program if not for her. I’ve gotten to take a $3K course for FREE. Plus will be getting 2 interview outfits for FREE. Plus this program paid for $414 in repairs on my vehicle so it would pass inspection. They have done so much for me. Just helping me navigate the area of unemployment compensation is huge. I had never been on it before. All this so within the next 1-2 months I will be able to have a good paying job. My job coach Rocks!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Wow, that is incredible!! I would definitely say to send your job coach a thank you! I know working at the Career Center they probably do this all day and don’t expect anything in return, but it really feels so good when people go a little above and beyond a verbal thank you to actually sit down and take the time to hand write out a little thank you note. Would totally make my day if I were your coach!

  • Reply Judi |

    I will join you! I’ve recently been hit by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude toward all of my mentors for the impact they’ve had in my life. Seriously one of my old bosses (my graduate PI) set up my current job position, and several women who have been my mentors that kept me from walking away from science entirely. I think I’ll opt for a hand written thank you note too.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yay!!!! I’m so glad you’ll join me! I also think it’s great to try to keep a feeling of gratitude (especially in this day and age when so many people have an attitude of entitlement, having one of gratitude is certainly outside the norm)! Also, national women’s day was yesterday so YAY for women mentors!!!

  • Reply Walnut |

    This is such an uplifting post – such a great way to start a Monday morning. I think I might write thank you notes to my Mom and Mother-in-law. Both are tremendous, supportive women and a mid-week note of appreciation will make their days.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Thanks! I was thinking this could be a nice Monday morning post to start the work-week off right : )
      I bet a thank you will really touch your Mom and MIL!!

  • Reply Rachel |

    Perfect idea Ashley! The card will be so much more meaningful, immediately and definitely over the long-term, than flowers would. I’m sure the Starbucks card will be appreciated too, at no cost to you. Win-win-win!

    I write handwritten notes and letters as much as possible. I’ve always had a desire to “change the world” but I’m not the sort of person who’s going to do that in some grand fashion. I also really like to help people. Over time I’ve learned that maybe I can do both, one person at a time. Besides thank you notes, I write letters trying to let people know the strengths I see in them; showing them the best parts of themselves that maybe they can’t see.

    No matter what form it takes, a handwritten note is a powerful way to stand out, form a stronger connection, and make someone’s day.

  • Reply Julene |

    Thank you notes have become a lost art it seems and one that needs to make a comeback (I am guilty as anyone for not sending them like I should). I read a book called “A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life” where the author John Kralik learned just how much that meant and how it truly changed his life. It’s a quick read and maybe something you can pick up at the library. It’s along these same lines of sending one to people you wouldn’t otherwise think of thanking when in reality they make your day or times a little bit brighter. Also congrats on thinking out of the box. It’s a win-win for sure!

    • Reply Ashley |

      That sounds like a good book! I’ll have to check and see if I can request it from our library!

  • Reply scarr |

    I am a believer in hand-written thank you notes and cards. My mom was always adamant that my brother and I send out thank yous after every gift received. I always keep a stash of thank you notes and plain cards to send out. I think it is a perfect idea to send one and it is something that people should do more often.

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    I should practice this year round, but this is the second year I have tried to do this for the 40 days of Lent. I do it to encourage someone or just tell someone what they have meant to me, etc. I have gotten such sweet responses and although that is not the intent at all, it does make me realize that people really appreciate being thought of and then going beyond and actually telling them. Great reminder.

  • Reply Matt |

    Thank you cards are definitely a good way to reach out, very memorable and the person getting the card sees the effort that you went through to send it. It’s definitely a great sentiment and I think a great tool as part of networking. The more digital our lives get the more meaningful and impactful they’ll become.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Totally agree! People are so much more likely to send a thank you text (if anything at all), that a hand-written/snail-mailed letter feels that much more meaningful!

  • Reply Jean |

    I don’t do this as often as I should. I sent a thank you note to a coworker who filled in during another’s absence; she didn’t get it until 6 weeks later, but it arrived when she was having a bad week and it really lifted her spirits. I got a ‘thank you for the thank you’ note! I have two that are sitting in my purse now to be written – need to get on them before time gets away from me. Even though it’s raining, I’m off to the post office at lunch for stamps! Then I’ll have no excuse. 🙂

So, what do you think ?