What to Be Thankful for at Work This Thanksgiving

It’s easy to complain about work – from annoying coworkers to difficult bosses to the Accounting department’s inability to issue your expense reimbursement on time, there’s plenty to be frustrated by. So why not take a moment to appreciate some things about the workplace as well?

Here are seven work-related things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1. Low-drama coworkers. Coworkers have a dramatic impact on our quality of life at work, so if you’ve found a workplace that’s more or less free of know-it-alls, backstabbers, drama queens, gossipers, negative Nancys, or just plain weird coworkers, appreciate it while you have it.

2. Using vacation time without guilt. If you’ve ever worked somewhere that discouraged you from using the vacation time you accrued, you know the pleasure of using it all without anxiety or being seen as a slacker. Another bonus: Being able to truly unplug, rather than being expected to answer calls and emails on “vacation.”

3. Telecommuting. It wasn’t too long ago that almost no companies allowed telecommuting for employees at any level. Fortunately, that’s changed. Companies that allow telecommuting – especially when a staff member is slightly under the weather but can still work, or when someone needs to wait at home for a repair person or delivery, but also for no reason at all – go a long way toward earning employees’ loyalty.

4. Professional development and training. As the economy has pushed companies to try to do more than less, budgets for training and development have taken a hit. If your employer offers you professional development opportunities like outside classes and workshops or tuition subsidies, take advantage of it!

5. Labor laws. We usually take them for granted now, but we didn’t always have workplace safety regulations, laws preventing racial or religious discrimination and sexual harassment, laws requiring prompt payment for your work, whistleblower protections, overtime pay for non-exempt workers, and the other laws we have today.

6. Good managers. Any employee who has held more than one or two previous jobs knows the value of a good manager – the ones who set clear goals, gives useful feedback, recognizes great work, ensures people have the resources they need to do their jobs, and knows when to cut some slack and when to push harder.

7. The paycheck. Let’s end with the big one. With so many people still out of work, it’s worth remembering that as frustrating as work can sometimes be, it’s awfully nice to have steady income coming in. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember that someone else out there wishes they had your job!














Alison Green

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.

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  • Elaine

    Absolutely. I’m so glad to say that I have all of these at my current job. Thought I miss some of the professional challenge (and pay) at my last job, it had WAY too much of #1,2,5 and 6!

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