The gift that can make a difference

The gift that can make a difference

We all struggle to find the perfect gift for friends and family at the best of times. But what about to the person who you know is thinking of changing their career, or is currently out of work and job searching.

Getting the balance between being helpful without seeming patronising and also not seeming boring or avoiding the subject altogether can be a challenge.

For the person who is just starting their career or is in the middle of a job search, gifts can often show support and add an extra dose of encouragement when it’s needed the most. And they don’t have to be expensive to make the point.

Personal organiser
This is a great time of year for calendars, diaries and organisers. And they don’t have to be plain or boring with loads of trendy styles available. This is really helpful for the job searcher to concentrate and plan in time for CV work, interview techniques when those exciting opportunities arise!

Writing instruments
They say you can tell a lot about a person by their writing instrument! Make sure the job seeker you know looks the part with a professional pen and paper set alongside their tablet or mobile phone to make an instant impression in their interview. You could even get it personalized for extra friendship brownie points!

Vouchers all the way
A new laptop or tablet is priceless to a job seeker who will use technology throughout their search and beyond.

Depending on how close you are, if you know the job seeker needs a new laptop, mobile phone or tablet, whilst we’re not suggesting that is the present for you to give, some vouchers for the chosen store, will go a long way to help and shows that you do listen to their needs!

Mobile and job searching apps
Same is true here, and a smart phone is certainly of increasing importance to the job searcher, and will continue to be so in 2016. More job search apps are being created, so maybe you could get some vouchers from the app store to get them started.

Power dressing
This one maybe quite personal, so it’s best you know the person well. And if you do, help to build up their confidence with some sharp attire in which they will feel and look the part as they go for their chosen career. And if you know there’s a store they would love to shop in, again, vouchers can be the magic answer. (Perhaps stay away from the festive seasonal wear on this occasion.)

Photography session
A professional image is now essential not only for your CV, but also your LinkedIn profile and online presence. Without an image, you are likely to go right to the bottom of the pile, but it has to be ‘right,’ no holiday snaps or party scenes!

Booking a photography session with a photographer maybe the ideal way to encourage the job searcher you know to be off to a flying start! And who knows, you can always tag a friends or family photo shoot at the end for some real fun and lasting memories.

Professional coaching
While a job searcher may not ask for this directly, they may have expressed a desire and so as a close friend you can do your due diligence and find one with credentials who you know can help the job searcher you know.

Career coaches offer guidance and support to those going through a career change and the personal coaching time spent with the job seeker can make a huge difference. It helps to have a resource to bounce ideas as well as having a set structure to follow, especially during the ups and downs of a search.

The same may also be true for professional networking groups, which charge to join. If you see one of these as an ideal opportunity for the job searcher you know, why not pay for them to attend once and see how they get on.

Personalised note
May sound basic, but if you were to draft a note, poem or just a small memento for the job searcher, it may stay with them, especially if the journey to their new career proves to be a rollercoaster.

It can simply be something they can look at and have the encouragement to do their best, take the disappointment with the excitement and stay determined to continue on their search for new position.

Spending time with those who are job searching and encouraging them with gifts that show you have their best interests at heart, can sometimes be the most effective, and certainly more useful than ‘that’ pair of socks!

What is the gift you would give this Christmas to someone who is job searching?