Giving Thanks to Our Colleagues

By Julie Andress
KeyBanc Capital Markets and STA WIF Co-Chair

For those of us in the U.S., on Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. This is traditionally a day spent in the company of family and friends giving thanks and expressing sincere appreciation for the support and love we provide each other. Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to be with those closest to us, but like all holidays it will come to an end and in the morning we will return to our daily routines, otherwise known as work: the place where we spend more hours with our colleagues in a week than we do with some aunts or uncles in a year.

John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” We should feel gratitude for being able to do what we enjoy and for those around us. But when we express gratitude, it should include an action on our part.

No matter what time zone we live in, our workday is long and filled with high stakes and critical decision making. We face an increasingly competitive landscape and unpredictable markets, yet our industry still provides much to be thankful for, beginning with the opportunity to forge meaningful and lasting relationships. These relationships can be seen in many lenses: the client who becomes a close friend; the co-worker who feels like family and makes the day enjoyable; the mentor who gave a one-time pep talk over coffee or another who provided guidance over the course of a decade; the organization that allows us to network and build more relationships; and, the bosses and managers who support our careers every day. But how often do we stop to show appreciation to all these people? And when we do, is the expression just an email or some other type of electronic communication?

John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” We should feel gratitude for being able to do what we enjoy and for those around us. But when we express gratitude, it should include an action on our part. Beyond merely saying what you are grateful for, show it; live it. Be extra kind to your co-workers who bring you joy during the year. Mentor someone who could benefit from your experience and knowledge. Volunteer your time to the organizations that support your network. Give back in any way to this industry that gives us so much.  On behalf of the entire STA Board, STA Affiliates and the STA Women in Finance Committee, we wish you, your families and your colleagues, a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!