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What’s your reward?

Last updated on January 31, 2023

“What’s your reward?” she asked me. I had no idea what she was talking about. “You know, your special treat for another successful year in business?”

“Uh… I don’t really give myself a reward, other than waking up January 1 and starting all over again,” I replied.

She shook her head. “You should have a reminder of your successes. Something tangible, like the medals that you earn at the end of your races.”

I hadn’t ever thought about that before. I didn’t look at December 31 as the finish line of an annual race, but rather as just another day in a long career. But maybe I was looking at it the wrong way. Maybe I should celebrate my accomplishments each year before plowing on to the next.

I asked her what she chose as her reward. She held up a beautiful blue Cross pen. “I buy one every year,” she explained. She doesn’t go all-out crazy and buy an $800 Mont Blanc, but as someone who works almost exclusively in intangible web content, it’s important to her to have a tangible, weighty remembrance of the year. Plus, unlike buying herself jewelry or shoes (two of her other loves), she likes that she can use the pen for future work.

Do you reward yourself for professional milestones?

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