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20 Simple (and mostly free) Ways to Brighten Someone's Day

We've all had terrible days. We've also experienced the slightest gesture from somebody else that turned everything around. How many people do you interact with during your workday? Clients, their employees, other IT contractors, recruiters, the list goes on. Wouldn't it be great if you were that person who turned around somebody else's terrible day? Many IT contractors are fortunate to interact with a variety of people, giving you more opportunities to brighten a day, and it doesn't have to be grand like buying them lunch or delivering a speech filled with compliments. Many quick actions may seem small but, to the person on the receiving end, they are exactly what they needed to push them back to the bright side. Consider trying any of these, at least once per day:

  1. Smile

  2. Help a busy colleague

  3. Compliment a teammate on their work

  4. Hold the door for somebody

  5. Bake (or bring donuts) for your client's office

  6. Wish a nice day to a stranger in the elevator

  7. Lend your umbrella (or keep a spare one on-hand for people who forget)

  8. Ask someone about their children/pet/family

  9. Follow-up on a story they told a few days ago

  10. Fill the kettle in the office kitchen

  11. Introduce yourself to the contractor who's new to the office

  12. Talk to the staffing agency's receptionist when you arrive for an interview

  13. Send a hand-written thank you note

  14. Reach out to an old colleague just because

  15. Address someone by their name (studies have proven that a person's own name is the sweetest sound they'll here)

  16. Show your appreciation for the little things people do

  17. Invite someone you don't know well to join you for lunch or drinks

  18. Actually listen when others speak

  19. Let someone get in line ahead of you

  20. Be nice and use your manners (it's amazing how much these are missed in a busy world)

Doing little things to brighten somebody's day will not only make them happier, but you'll feel better about yourself as well. And the added bonus, they will remember you in a positive light, and that could come in very handy during your next job search.