Search form

Career Coach: Be Grateful

As we approach Thanksgiving, Pam shares her thoughts about work, family and perspective.

Pamela Kleibrink


"I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude."

- Benjamin Disraeli

November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States.  It’s a tradition to celebrate with a big feast, shared with family and friends.  Some households focus on the football game, others on getting ready for holiday shopping.  But how many focus on really being grateful--something that we probably should do every day.  I want to encourage you to think about what you are grateful for.  Make a list.  Here’s mine:

My mom--who always gives people the benefit of the doubt.  She exposed me to a wide variety of experiences and was always available to drive me and my friends to events and social occasions.  When I was in college, she suggested I meet two new people a day.  (I was extremely shy).  After a few weeks of doing this it became a habit.  I now teach the art of networking as part of my Career Navigator Program at colleges all over the world.

My dad--I started college intending to major in biology and go on to medical school to become a doctor.  I discovered filmmaking when I took an elective and worried that my parents would not approve of me changing my major but my dad said, “It’s your life to live.  Do what you want.”

My teachers, my daughter’s teachers, and other teachers I know. Thank you for your dedication and passion and all your efforts to help me and others learn.

My daughter--who gave me a job I can never be fired from, being a mom.  It has given me a new perspective, friends I would never have met, and appreciation and respect for the thoughts, talents and abilities of kids and teens.  I don’t view them the same way as I did before I had one of my own.  I cherish my daughter, who has confidence, empathy, capability, daring and a can-do attitude that I admire.  I wish I had a friend like her when I was her age.

My husband--for a myriad of reasons--encouragement, love, and support.  He is not just my friend but also my career coach and editor.  His sense of humor and sense of ethics and fabulous story telling ability is a true treasure.  He wakes up every day and thinks about how to make my life better.  I am truly grateful for his love and devotion.

My speaking clients--I enjoy presenting the Career Navigator Program at schools and being inspired by student enthusiasm and passion.  Thank you to all the students and faculty who attend my sessions and especially those who  give me feedback  

My career coaching clients--thank you for your trust and faith.

My recruiting clients–thank you for working with me and for the opportunities you give to talented artists I recommend. 

Dan Sarto of AWN and my readers–thank you for giving me the chance to express myself.  I’ve been writing the Career Coach column every month for 13 years. Thank you to the readers who write me to tell me about career issues that are important to you.  I hope that this column is helpful to you.

And to all those who serve us to make the world a better place–Thank you!

This Thanksgiving, count your blessings, not your calories.  And every day remember to have an attitude of gratitude.

Now that you have your list of those who you are grateful for, send a thank you note in a snail mail if you have a mailing address.  When was the last time you got a handwritten note from someone?  I wrote most of this column on a Southwest flight from Detroit to Denver, and sat next to a corporate executive named David who wrote several notes during the flight in a beautiful cursive handwriting. I commented on his correspondence and he said he sends at least three notes a week.  He works for a company that has over 1400 employees.  He knows that people appreciate getting a note and that he likes to send a letter of encouragement or support to those employees who have something going on in their lives. Thank you David, for inspiring me.

Send a thank you note via snail mail, email or even Facebook to someone.  If he or she made a difference in your life, let him or her know.  Practice the art of being grateful every day.

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’"--

William Arthur Ward

©2012 Pamela Kleibrink Thompson


Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach, recruiter, and speaker.  Earlier this month she presented the Career Navigator Program at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.  You can reach her for help with career navigation, recruiting, or arrange for speaking engagements at PamRecruit@q,com.