You give holiday gifts to nurture and celebrate family and friends. Don’t forget to nurture and celebrate yourself! Here are 10 holiday gifts that will advance your future career and celebrate past milestones:
- Restaurant gift card. I’ve written before about the power of networking over meals. If you have a crazy schedule and can’t do full-out lunches, get a Starbucks card so you can at least grab coffee with colleagues and friends.
- Clothing store gift card. You need a professional wardrobe whether it’s from a specialty store like Ann Taylor or a general department store like Nordstrom. 80% of communication is non-verbal, and appearance is a significant part of this.
- Professional association membership. This is an investment in your networking as you deepen professional ties and meet new people. This is also an investment in your training as you stay abreast of the latest industry news and innovations.
- Business magazine subscription. In addition to your specific area, it is helpful to know about the broader economy. Yes, you can get some of this from general news, but a dedicated business magazine often has more in-depth market analysis and insight.
- Beautiful journal. Make it a gratitude journal and celebrate your blessings. Make it a scrapbook of everything you have achieved. Make it a repository for ideas.
- Professional headshot. Speaking engagements and press mentions are ways that recruiters find you. A great shot can also enhance your online profile.
- Electronic reader. Keep all your business and career books in your Apple iPAD or Amazon Kindle, and never have an excuse for not reading.
- Multiple business card holders. I wish I had a nickel for every networking event I attended where someone had switched bags and therefore forgot her cards. Have nice business card holders in multiple quantities for all the bags you bring to professional events, and keep each stocked with your current cards.
- Private coach. This could be someone who specializes in something directly career-related such as communication skills, executive coaching, or career change. Or maybe you need an image consultant to help with your brand or a personal trainer to get more energy.
- Tuition. You don’t have to get another degree. Learn a foreign language, improve your digital media skills, take an improv class to improve listening and spontaneity.
This post also appeared on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/work-in-progress/2010/12/22/ten-holiday-gifts-to-give-to-your-career/