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4 Surprising Things to be Grateful for at Work

We can always count on at least two things at Thanksgiving: a food coma and time to think about what we’re grateful for. Most people have family, friends and well-being on their list, but let’s take a moment to discover what we can be thankful for in our career. From your boss to competition, here are 4 things you didn’t realize you can be grateful for at work:

Feedback:

One reason to be thankful for feedback is because it shows people care. When others are invested in you and your future, they’ll provide constructive criticism to make you better. Be grateful to work in an environment where people care enough about you to speak up. Be thankful for interest over apathy, and use it to thrive in your career.

Constructive criticism has hidden benefits, and although no one enjoys being criticized, it’s something to be thankful for.  If you have the right perspective, are self-aware and determined to learn, you can use it to your advantage. Train yourself to use every piece of feedback (positive or negative) to improve and make your work stronger.

Competition:

There would be no one to push, challenge or motivate us to go above and beyond without friendly competition. Studies have shown that competition can increase physiological and psychological activation, which helps our bodies achieve increased effort and higher performance. We should be thankful for healthy competition; it fuels innovation, creativity and success in our careers. Find someone in the "office" you look up to and use them as motivation. Chase after their success and strive to do better for yourself.

Your Boss:

Bosses play an important part in our success at work. Through their support, acknowledgement and leadership, bosses can be valuable mentors. If you look up to your boss, be thankful to have a role model you admire and respect. Take the time to appreciate everything they do- and don’t be afraid to tell them! A well-written thank you note can go a long way.

Small Wins:

The power of small wins is often overlooked. When we think about progress, most people fantasize about achieving a long-term goal or getting a big promotion. Although huge successes are great, they are few and far between. Focusing on minor milestones (and being thankful for them) can significantly increase our satisfaction in life and work. According to Psychology Today, every small win gives your brain a boost in dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical linked with motivation. When we concentrate on our everyday accomplishments it fosters motivation and keeps us engaged. Appreciating how far we’ve come is essential to satisfaction at work and in life.

As you think about what you’re grateful for this Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on your career, and don’t forget about the things that are a little less obvious.

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