TCG 411: Celebrating Your Supporters

Spreading Holiday Cheer

By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

In my last post, I offered some office party etiquette tips, and today, I want to cover a few more ideas for spreading holiday cheer among colleagues. While I’m sure there are certain individuals who always make your holiday gift or card list (your boss, direct reports or a longtime vendor, for example), don’t limit your merrymaking to these individuals.

Now is an excellent time to thank coworkers who contribute to your career success in less obvious ways. Here are just some people you may want to recognize this holiday season:

  • The office admins. Recognizing your department’s administrative assistant with a card or small gift is always a good idea. But don’t forget about other support professionals throughout your organization who have helped you meet deadlines, gain approval, or secure support or resources.
  • Your go-to IT guy (or gal). Though this person often “saves the day” – by responding to urgent requests like fixing a fussy network connection or installing software upgrades – it’s easy to take him or her for granted. Think about showing appreciation for someone who literally makes it possible for you to do your job each and every day.
  • The vacation stand-in. If you enjoyed a vacation this year, you likely had to lean on a colleague who served as the point person for your projects during your absence. Even if you plan to return the favor, why not recognize this person’s help at the holidays, too? A small token of your appreciation acknowledges that you understand the extra work your coworker had to assume on your behalf.
  • Creative consultants. Because their jobs are finite in nature, these individuals are often overlooked during the holiday season. Recognizing freelancers who’ve done an outstanding job on projects you’ve assigned them throughout the year will help them feel part of the group – and help ensure they continue assisting your team during busy times.

Keep in mind that holiday gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. Consider what you know about the person and select something that corresponds to his or her interests. Someone who enjoys baking, for example, might be thrilled to receive cookie cutters or cake decorating supplies. Even a hand-written holiday card that references how you and the other person worked together during the year can be meaningful. Remember, it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift-giving, so get creative and recognize the “unsung heroes” at your job this holiday season.

Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at