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Things to Keep in Mind When Sending Business Christmas Cards

Things to Keep in Mind When Sending Business Christmas Cards

It’s almost “that” time of year again: the Christmas holidays. Will you see this as an opportunity to reach out in a special way to your business associates—employees, co-workers, collaborators, investors, clients and customers? What might be the payoff in terms of the cost in time and money spent? If you decide to send out holiday greetings, you’ll need to make many decisions. Will you send real mailed cards, ecards, or both? Can you present yourself and your company in a positive way without being impersonal or spammy? What would be the most effective design, format, etc? If you are sending business holiday cards, but are not sure how to proceed with all of the above choices, you are not alone.

These are guidelines that will help you.

Appropriate or inappropriate? Businesses have been sending out Christmas cards for a long time. Often, they were sent to promote a brand. When sent correctly, they can augment your brand. But there are errors that could be fatal, actually making your business look less favorable. Over the years some etiquette and “do’s” and “don’t’s” have been developed. A few items are controversial, but at least the following list of considerations will provide you with confidence that all of the bases have been covered.

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Primary considerations

1. Your purpose

You first need to decide what is your purpose of sending a greeting. It’s best to just send a warm personal greeting and not include copy or advertising. Everyone wants to be appreciated. There might be an occasional instance where you would combine the greeting with a campaign or use it to show off a newly developed software.

2. Your recipient

Who will be receiving your greeting? Will it be a millennial or a more traditional person? The traditional person will appreciate a mailed card. The millennial an ecard. Usually your message and design should be non-denominational—a “season’s” greetings.

3. Your business card

Should you include a business card? Most experts say “no,” but advise a hand-written company name or company stamp after your hand-written signature.

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4. Timing and address

It’s best to mail early—a week before Thanksgiving, but definitely not after December 15. Send the card to the colleague’s business address, unless you are also intimate out-of-the-office friends.

5. Personalize

Hand write your signature, add a hand-written personalized message, and hand write the address on the envelope. Check for proper spelling. Include your hand-written return address so that the recipients know right away who it’s from and to be sure they have your most current address.

6. Ecards

These are more environmentally friendly and less costly, but not as permanent and for some not personal. On the other hand, ecards are more sharable (over social networks), can contain a click thorough or call to action, contain associated metrics and are more readily customizable. There are plenty of sites to obtain stock photography, vector illustrations, clipart, audio files, video and animation. Ecards allow your company to try something that has more style and pop. With animation you can show more by telling a story.

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You could choose to see this as an opportunity to not just remind your clients of who you are, but also remind them of how good you are at what you do. Homemade ecards showcase the web designer, image software expert and an email application or code. Personalize your corporate holiday e-cards as much as humanly possible, remembering to remain as inclusive as you can be, while still sticking to your corporate culture and personality. Keep things simple, fun and cheerful. Put the ecard on your own site and send out links to it in a personal email, or you could send it as an email itself as an attachment or URL.

Some other design and content considerations

1. Include assistants in your greetings list.

They are important people who deserve recognition and influence what their bosses see.

2. Stick to ‘Season’s Greetings’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ type sentiments.

You should also be very careful with humor making your greeting tasteful and of high quality.

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3. You could try something experimental perhaps . . .

. . . like some really great code trick that you haven’t found a use for. But don’t let yourself get carried away—too many bells and whistles will start to look tacky.

4. Incorporate a donation to charity.

So that sending an ecard doesn’t look like you are trying to be cheap. The ecard modernizes a time honored tradition of sending cheerful season’s greetings to those who matter to us the most. And don’t forget that there are other holidays with possibilities to reach out with appropriate greetings.

Featured photo credit: http://www.shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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