The holiday shopping season is upon us. Once again, it is time to start thinking about gifts for the people who are important to us. What could be better than something that helps them move their career forward?
With that in mind, I asked for suggestions as to what the “must-have” career gifts are this season. Here are some of the best ideas I received:
Kathleen Hopkins points out that, as people trade their laptops for tablets, adding a high-quality keyboard allows the tablet to be converted into a work station. She suggests her client, ZAGG’s product KeysFolio for iPad Air. It features a Bluetooth keyboard with a pivoting hinge allowing users to place the iPad Air at virtually any viewing angle, like a laptop screen. It also provides backlit keys and a battery capable of keeping the tablet running for up to three months. (Price $99.)
Everyone in business should own at least one elegant pen. Not only is a beautiful pen a joy to use, in the business world a writing instrument says something about its owner. Stacey Kaspin offers a number of pens from her client Graf von Faber-Castell suitable for any businessman or woman. Some possible styles that would be appropriate for gifts, depending on how much you want to spend, include their E-Motion Crocodile Hibiscus Red ballpoint pen (Price: $75); the Ondoro Oak Wood fountain pen made from smoked oak wood (Price: $165) and the handmade Intuition Ivory fountain pen, featuring a black cap with a platinum-plated engraved decorative ring. (Price: $425.)
Kari Hulley offers up her client’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-recognition software, that lets you use your voice to control your computer, search the web and create documents, all without typing. “Since studies show that most people talk 3 times faster than they type, this efficiency enhancer makes a great gift,” she adds. (Price: $99.).
The shower is one place that you can’t talk to your computer, so you might want to give that career-minded person the ability to write down their ideas even while taking a shower. AquaNotes offered up their product, a waterproof notepad that suctions to the shower wall and allows shower thinkers to jot down their thoughts before they forget them. The notepads are $7 each and include 40 sheets of perforated waterproof paper that can easily be removed and taken to the office.
Jill Swanson, author of “Out the Door in 15 Minutes,” notes that “people judge others within the first seven seconds of meeting them. And first impressions are lasting.” She suggest as a holiday gift a session with a personal wardrobe/image coach. She points out that “it can do wonders for not only the career person’s outer image, but their self-esteem and business presence as well. ”
Brittany Deal notes that “business is often conducted over dinner, and these dinners typically include ordering wine. Busy professionals, however, that might find wine intimidating, don’t have the time to read a 400-page guide on the subject, but still want to be knowledgeable.” So she wrote, and suggests as a career enhancing gift, “Savvy Girl: A Guide to Wine,” a 100-page guidebook that provides the essentials necessary to be wine savvy.
As most business executives are constantly on the go, Nicole Beck suggests a gift of coffee from her client Green Mountain Coffee. Flavors especially appropriate for the holiday season include seasonal Gingerbread, Spicy Eggnog and their premium Special Reserve collections.
Most of us put a lot of time and effort in trying to find the right gifts for the people we care about. I would encourage you to put that thought toward career-enhancing gifts.
A veteran human resources executive, Lee E. Miller is a career coach and the author of “UP: Influence Power and the U Perspective — The Art of Getting What You Want.” Mail questions to Lee@employability-expert.com