should I send a basket of treats to my new employer?

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A reader writes:

I just got hired for an amazing position and I’m really excited about starting work there in a few weeks. The interview process was really long and involved a lot of the department for it to happen. I was thinking that I might send a small basket of treats to the dept as a whole just as a way of saying how happy I am to be joining their team. I don’t want to come off as obsequious or over-selling myself though. What’s your take on it?

It’s a very nice thought, but I think it would be coming on a little strong. Remember, they haven’t done you a favor by hiring you — they believe you’re the person best able to fill a need on their staff.

What would be nice, though, is to send each of them a quick email to let them know how glad you are to be joining their team. No treats, no flowers — just a short, sincere (but not fawning) note of enthusiasm. Even this is unnecessary though — but if you want to do something, do this.

Congratulations on the new job!

{ 11 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous

    Once you start (but not the first day!) you can if it is a part of your office culture bring in treats for everyone.

  2. Andrea

    I’d say the possible exception is if you have a vegetable garden and an overflow of lucious homegrown summer veggies. I once started a job in late August and brought two large baskets of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zuchinni, green beans, and red-skinned potatoes from my garden on my first day. Believe me, it went over well. I considered not doing it, but I grow food year-round, and I always grow much more than I can eat, preserve, and store because I like to give it away–so I figured, this is who I am, and this is what I like to do, and if these people are going to work with me, then they’ll know it soon enough, and they might as well know now. I put it all in the breakroom with a note that said I was looking forward to working with all of them, and I think every person in that mid-sized professional office stopped by to speak with me that day and to thank me for the goodies (which were all gone at the end of the day). (And of course, I did that about four times per year, so it wasn’t a one-time thing.) I know that wouldn’t work in every professional setting, but it worked for me. It was sincere, though, and people could tell.

  3. Wilton Businessman

    No, no, no, no, no, no, NO. I agree with the previous poster that if you want to bring in something after you started (not the first day), fine. But before you even start crosses the line from nice to weird.

  4. Anonymous

    We had one hire do that – it didn’t feel weird at all! I guess it is a roll of the dice, but it certainly went over well here. Granted, our coworker did interview with just about everyone here (small org.) so there wasn’t too much of a chance of a mis-step.

    Bad question for my lunch hour reading – now I need a fruit bouquet!!!!

  5. Sarah E. Welch

    I agree–note plus treats a bit after you’ve started. Besides reducing your chances of being perceived as trying too hard, if you give it a little time, you’ll better know what folks like :)

  6. mouse

    Seems like a really sweet gesture but… What if the boss is diabetic, or has food allergies, or whatever? If you follow the advice of those who are saying to do something like this after you’ve been there a bit, you’ll have better intel to go on.

  7. Dawn

    Doing this on the first day screams, “Please like me!” Waiting a couple weeks says, “Thanks for inviting me on-board. I like working here.”

  8. Joey

    Some employee is bound to think you’re a kiss ass if you send something before you start especially if there was an internal employee who interviewed. You can show them you’re excited by being friendly and doing a bang up job from day one. They’ll appreciate it much more if you validate their decision to hire you.

  9. Anonymous

    I agree about waiting. One of my colleagues LOVES to bake and always says the way into someone’s heart is their stomach and she did start bringing in treats after she’d been with us for a few weeks. It gave people a chance to see her as a colleague and then a chance to say hi and get to know her a bit better and thanks for the treats. We’re at a smallish (25 employees) non-profit so we’re a very friendly tight-knit office. (It’s a performing arts org, so we spend A LOT of hours together – it’s not a 9-5 world – so a special treat on Opening Night when everyone’s been working crazy hours is much appreciated.) All told, learn the culture first.

  10. Deirdre

    I dunno … one of my very favorite (to this day) hires sent HR a basket of Godiva Chocolates to thank us for all our work and for making her interviewing and hiring process the best she had ever experienced.

    I think it was pretty darn awesome … Like all things, it can depend.

  11. Anonymous

    Wait till you see if the place really is as good as you think it is. Sometimes after a few months it is not all that great as you thought it would be.

Comments are closed.