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When you get the news that you got the raise you wanted, chances are you're going to want to spring for a fancy dinner or do some other fun activity to celebrate. While you certainly deserve to make merry, don't get so overwhelmed with excitement that you forget to thank your bosses. The act of writing and sending a thank-you note doesn't take much time at all, and the positive effects may far outweigh the effort it took to write it.
Who Gets One
Chances are you did your negotiating with your direct supervisor, so she's definitely on the list of people to thank. But other people in the company may be worthy of consideration. If your boss has a boss – or a financial officer who holds the purse strings – consider adding one or both to your list. When you're in the letter-writing mood, writing one or two more doesn't take much time, and the payoff may come when that higher-up remembers your personal touch the next time pay raises or promotions are on the table.
What to Say
Your letters don't have to be extensive or even very detailed. To address the letter, maintain the level of formality with which you interact with your boss. For example, if you always call your boss "Ms. Smith," don't get casual now and write "Dear Mary." Begin the letter by directly stating its purpose – that is, to thank the recipient for your salary increase. If the raise came with terms, such as you taking on other duties, mention them. Leave out any whining, if the raise wasn't as much as you'd hoped for – in a challenging economic environment, raises can still be hard to come by. Then sign off the note by restating your appreciation and saying how you look forward to a long working relationship.
What to Add
Your appreciation doesn't have to limit itself to a letter or card. Since you're already in a working relationship with this person, you're likely to have some inside knowledge of what your boss likes or what her indulgences are. This might be the perfect opportunity to show that you're paying attention by including a bag of her favorite coffee beans with your letter, for example. If you add a small gift, make it personal and tailored to things you know your boss really likes.
How to Deliver It
Your thank-you note can be in any form you like, from a simple email to a handwritten thank-you card. But the most personal and memorable way to say thanks would be to deliver a handwritten note in person. If your boss works in another office or you're on a business trip when you get the news, the second-best option would be to send a handwritten note through the mail.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.