How to Respond to a Good Bonus

How to Respond to a Big Bonus | Corporette

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to respond to a good bonus, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette.

How do you respond to a generous year-end bonus — after all, yippee is out. So how do you professionally respond to a good bonus? Here’s Reader C’s question:

I am a young lawyer, and have worked at my current firm for 1.5 years. This year, I got a generous bonus. I’d like to know what the etiquette is for responding to the bonus. Is a thank you note for the 5 partners appropriate? an in person thank you? or nothing? The envelope the check is in says “Merry Christmas -The Partners”. It is a small firm (10 lawyers, 5 partners) and I have a good relationship with the partners but would feel a bit awkward going into their offices and closing the door, just to say thank you. What about a small gift from the senior partner and his wife, (think chocolate)?

I looked in the archives for an answer to my question, but wasn’t able to find anything on point and would really like to hear any tips on this!

You and me both! I still remember the big BigLaw bonuses before the recession, and I will always remember getting my biggest bonus (back in January 2008).  We all knew the number before our individual reviews — bonuses were lockstep with class year, and a memo had been circulated to say my firm was matching the going market rates.  Still, when my reviewer said, in a very cursory manner, “Your bonus is $80,000 this year,” and I tried to graciously say “thank you,” it was followed by an awkward, cringe-worthy pause from both of us.  It just felt SO little-girl/feminine and not at all what a Captain of Industry would say. I imagined men saying something like, “Well yes, I earned it!” or “Wonderful, I can make the next payment on the yacht!” or perhaps, “Bully, let’s all go play golf!” But not “thank you.” [Read more…]

What to Tip Your Secretary for the Holidays

what to tip your secretary for the holidays2017 update: We still stand by this advice on what to tip your secretary for the holidays (but obviously as we note below, know your office!) — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussion of how much money you give for holiday tips (from doormen to assistants), as well as our entire page on holiday business etiquette!

Wow, we asked and you guys answered:  What is fair to give your secretary or administrative assistant for a holiday “present” (or “bonus” or “tip,” depending on how you want to look at it).  The lively debate in the comments was a bit more interesting than the answers to the poll, but in case anyone is curious — nearly 700 of you voted, and these are the results at the moment (as always, the poll is still open).

  • 40% of you are just giving cash
  • 14% of you are giving a personal present [Read more…]

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

(At left: This week’s round-up is rather bleak, so we decided to illustrate it with something happy. Cupcakes? Puppies? We ultimately decided to go with the cute guy and the kitty. Check out the video, posted below, if you haven’t seen it before. Hat tip to La Pauline 2.0.)

– Women in BigLaw are hitting their heads on the glass ceiling. [WSJ Law Blog] But then, is it a glass ceiling or a sticky floor? The Downtown Women’s Club Blog rehashed a recent teleclass on the subject. [DWC]

– If you’re a woman in Big Law, don’t get your hopes too high for a huge bonus. [Above The Law]

– If you should be laid off, some advice on how to make a graceful exit. [The Thin Pink Line]

– How to order a bespoke suit from overseas. [WSJ]

– Sadie at Jezebel admits a dark secret that others agree with: the wrap dress, long written about as a “classic” that every woman must own, ain’t that flattering. [Jezebel]

– The next time you need to carry files with you (deposition, anyone?) you may want to consider totes like these and these — they’re probably easier to maneuver than a banker’s box. [Jeri’s Organizing & Decluttering News]

– The Simple Dollar reviews “The Little Book of Bull Moves in a Bear Market. [The Simple Dollar]

Finally: Presenting “Hey Little Sparta,” by Cory “Mr. Safety” Williams.

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