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The Best Gifts to Give Someone Changing Careers

Updated on April 25, 2016
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I'm a business communications coach who teaches writing, speaking, and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change.

Here's a list of practical gifts to gift someone who has just told you that they want to quit their job and start doing something new. The gifts range in price from a few hundred dollars to virtually free!

Show your support to someone changing careers with a thoughtful gift.

Looking sharp while job hunting is a must. That's why high-quality clothing accessories such a ties, scarves or cuff links make great gifts for people changing careers.
Looking sharp while job hunting is a must. That's why high-quality clothing accessories such a ties, scarves or cuff links make great gifts for people changing careers.

Switching careers can be an exciting adventure. It can also be incredibly scary to suddenly switch gears and change careers. That's why the best gifts to give someone who has decided to quit their job and start over are things that say 'I believe in you!'

Wardrobe consultation. If your friend or loved one has been doing the same thing for years and years, he or she may be wondering what's appropriate to wear for a job interview. Sometimes a fresh perspective from a wardrobe consultant or hairstylist is all someone needs to update their look so they are ready to face new employment challenges.

Motivational books. Books that inspire your friend or loved one to keep on working towards their dreams can help job-seekers and budding entrepreneurs cope rejection letters.

Professional head shots. A good looking profile photo on a networking site, business personal homepage, or job board can create a positive first impression. But getting professional photographs taken can be costly. If you have the means, you could offer to pay for a session with a professional photographer.

Gift certificate for car washes and auto-detailing packages. As mentioned earlier in this article, maintaining a professional, polished image at all times is essential to finding a new job or starting a new career. A clean, well-maintained car will not only make a good impression on potential clients, it will help the job-seeker feel calmer and a little less stressed. Driving around in a fresh-smelling, sparkling car is much more fun that driving around in a rust bucket full of old take-out containers!

Tickets to see an inspiring speaker. No matter where someone is on their career path, almost everyone likes to listen to a stirring speech or moving presentation. Getting out of the house for a fun night out is also a great mood booster, especially if the job-seeker has had a recent run of rejection letters. What I really like about this career change gift idea is that if you take your friend to the show, you’ll get to enjoy the motivational speech too. You might want to extend the invitation to your friend first, decide on a night you are both free, and then buy the tickets. Check to see if there are any two-for-one pricing options before you order this gift.

Gifts that keep job-seekers and people who are changing careers inspired and motivated are the best presents to give!
Gifts that keep job-seekers and people who are changing careers inspired and motivated are the best presents to give!

Resume writing services. An up-to-date, polished resume is a must for anyone on the hunt for a new job. But it is also essential for people who have quit their jobs to start a new business. For example, a bank may require a copy of the budding entrepreneur’s curriculum vitae before approving a small business loan. Other who are going back to school as part of their career-change strategy may need a current resume to prove their credentials in order to qualify for a program. You can offer this gift in the form of gift certificate for a reputable resume writing service. Alternatively, if you yourself are an experienced writer or human resources professional, you could offer to help update your friend’s resume, free of charge, of course!

Coaching services. These days, even people who are not looking for a new job are hiring life coaches to help them make important changes in their lives. You could offer to pay for a few coaching sessions to help your friend make some important decisions about what they want the next phase of their career. This gift is especially valuable for people who are in the early stages of a career change.

Social media coaching. For older people who are find themselves looking for work or re-entering the workforce after a long break. In fact, one of the prejudices that mature workers face when they are looking for work is the belief that they won ‘t be able to keep up with today’s high-tech communication methods. If you have strong social media skills, why not offer to teach your friends some of the basic social media skills they’ll need in order to make a successful shift in careers.

As promised at the beginning of this article on what to give to someone who is changing careers, here are several gifts that are absolutely free. And guess what? Some of them are priceless, too!

A letter of recommendation or testimonial. If you know the person who is changing careers on a professional level, giving a sincere letter of recommendation is a great gift to offer someone who is looking for a new job. You don’t even have to know the person through work to put in a good word for them. For example, you can still write a character reference for the individual that highlights the individuals strengths, acknowledges community contributions or vouches for the individual’s honesty, integrity, and upstanding values.

If your friend’s career change involves starting a new business, you could offer to write a testimonial that can be included on a website or in promotional materials. Your testimonial doesn’t need to include your full name when it is promoted. For example, your quote could end with just your first name and your home city or job title (i.e.; “Chris from Chicago, Illinois” or “Jane, Project Manager”).

Introductions to your peer network. Think back to the last time you were looking for a job or were considering a career change. Did you have any help getting to where you are today? Did someone introduce you to someone who was able to boost your career or offer hot job prospects? If so, then you know how valuable peer networks can be to someone who is on the hunt for a new job. This is one of those free gifts you can give someone in between jobs that can one day prove to be priceless.

Child-minding. One of the ways that you can offer support to someone who is starting out on a new career path or pounding the pavement looking for a new job is to offer to watch his or her kids for a few hours. Whether your friend has job interviews to go to, night classes to attend or just needs quiet time to make important networking phone calls from home, free babysitting services are a thoughtful and practical gift.

Coffee breaks. The final gift on this list of presents for someone changing careers is to invite them out for coffee every so often and let your friend share his or her job search fears and frustrations. Listening openly and offering support and encouragement while someone takes a giant leap into the unknown is a priceless gift!

© 2016 Sally Hayes


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  • Jasmeetk profile image

    Jasmeet Kaur 14 months ago from India

    great ideas..

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