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How to write an amazing work anniversary email?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at DoorDasha year ago

DoorDash has a tradition where your manager sends a "Dashiversary" email to the entire company on your work anniversaries. The manager creates a Google doc and collects notes & photos from your colleagues and cross-functional partners, then adds his/her own note at the top of the email. Given the impact of Deep Thanks, what should I write in these notes to leverage these opportunities to build relationships?

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    Staff SWE at Google, ex-Meta, ex-Amazon
    a year ago

    A lot of companies expire email and chat after some amount of time. Many do not expire calendar events, even from the distant past. A calendar invite with yourself can serve as a makeshift notepad.

    Anyway… if you want people-focus, more than project focus, if you can export your calendar and get it into a text format, you may be able to do a frequency map of folks you’ve met with. You might filter your immediate team and just name them directly.

    Once you have that, you can either make a list, or do something like a word cloud emphasizing those you’ve worked with most (or met with at least).

    Beyond that, people love stories. If you take 5 (or 10 or whatever) people with different types of relationships (team mate, mentor, mentee, partner team member), you can write up as briefly as possible your best memory of working with them.

    From there, if it’s authentic, you can note in passing (“While I’ve worked on amazing efforts like X and Y, what matters most…”) projects, but assert that the people you have worked with, taught, learned from, etc. are what have meant the most to you over the last 5 years, and those memories will stay with you even if every work item you ever completed is deprecated and gone, etc.

    I like to sprinkle humor in to really line them up for a gut punch of emotion like that at the end. Gets their guard down.