Should I Buy My Boss a Gift? How to Give Gifts in the Office

Have you ever had a problem thanking someone in the office?

Knowing the right people may be able to get you that position, promotion, or that connection that you need to make things happen for your career. However, showing appreciation in the office environment is incredibly tricky. How do you do it without crossing the line to unprofessional territory, or raising your co-worker’s eyebrows?

RULE 1. KEEP IT SMALL AND THOUGHTFUL. Here’s a good rule. Buy something meaningful as oppose to something expensive, something that relates to position, interest, or shared event. Something expensive can seem like you are over reaching and trying too hard to please. The goal behind gift giving is showing gratitude, not showing bank. Sincere yet not overly personal.

RULE 2. DISCRETION WILL SERVE BOTH OF YOU GOOD. It is best to give the gift with discretion. Not that you are trying to hide it from the world because you have an ulterior motive (that’s called a bribe). You just don’t want to appear like you are gloating about being given a favor or showing appreciation for it. Keep the buzz to a minimum.

RULE 3. NEVER EVER CASH. If you’re not a boss giving bonuses or incentives don’t dare.  Even if you get him one of these great gifts, it is better than cash. Sure it’s convenient but I think cash is a bit inappropriate as any form of gift to anyone anyway. If you really have to, try a gift card with a humble, reasonable amount.

RULE 4. TANGIBLE IS BEST. A favor or an IOU is a big NO NO. Keep it as mental note and offer it freely when the moment arises, but never voice it out. Can’t afford a gift for now? Write a modest thank you note.

RULE 5. NO EXPECTATIONS. Sincerity is about not expecting anything in return. Give with heart and true gratitude, not as a strategy. Gift giving in the professional world is not as hard as you think.

Follow these 5 rules and you will have both a great and APPROPRIATE token of appreciation for anyone in the office.

Do you have any other tips or want to share your experience with giving gifts in the office? Tweet us @mscareergirl or comment below!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.