The Office Gift Guide – For your awesome intern

Ok Goods Gift Guide for your awesome intern

 

 

You’ve spent months mentoring and working with a young talent, and sadly you don’t have the best gift they could ask for, a job. So in lieu of a full-time contract, here is a list of things they can use to help them land their dream gig, or just to say thank you and GO GET EM.

1. A real and amazing reference letter or even a LinkedIn recommendation will be useful for years to come, and even better, it will boost their confidence for interviews and they’ll remember your supportive words at all the awkward networking events when they are building up the guts to talk to someone. (And before they leave, please look over their resume and portfolio to make sure they’ve put all the hard work they’ve done with your company into use and the world can see it)!

2. Holding a physical printed magazine in your hands is a pleasing in a way that digital can never top, and it’s also one of those things that most people can’t justify for themselves when on a tight budget. Give them a year (or two!) of industry inspiration and aspirational articles to read through and pile on their shelves.

3. Some say gift cards are a “no no”, but there’s a catch with this one… Load up a coffee shop gift card and present it with a suggestion to only buy coffee for others. You never know where a coffee meeting will lead them! If they really just want a card for the mall or amazon, I’m not against that either! This gift is meant to say ‘thank you’ after all, so don’t feel pressured to put rules on it.

4. Getting started in your career can be a tricky and expensive time. You need decent interview clothes, have student loans about to come due, and probably financing a laptop to help you with freelance work on the side! Even though there are free networking sites and social media channels for self-promotion there are some classic ‘work things’ that will help them feel more like a young professional and less ‘imposter‘. Try funding an industry membership, website hosting, or some fancy business cards (or stickers!) that they create with a template.

5. Celebrate the end of the internship by growing their liquor cabinet with a bottle of something dressed in a witty label. Add a book of cocktail recipes or a decorative bottle opener just for fun.

See all Gift Guides here.

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The Office Gift Guide – For your boss

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This person might be the trickiest one on your holiday gifting list. You can’t buy a gift card, jewelry is too personal, and something generic is worse than nothing at all. Pro tip, avoid buy anything that involves choosing a size, or something that would be difficult to hide if they don’t like it. The idea here is to show appreciation and thought. Your gift should be personal or not at all. So here’s a list ways to be thoughtful and affordable (because honestly… they know how much you make).

1. A kind and sincere holiday card is the most meaningful thing on this list. Adding a message of your support, gratitude, or a fun memory will go a long way for holiday cheer. Simple.

2. Another affordable but heart-warming gesture is baking up some homemade treats. You and your boss spend long meetings together, order take-out some days, and snack on the same things — so you know the kind of treats that they run to during that 4 o-clock wall (and you probably know if their allergies). Classic chocolate chip cookies or some really good banana bread are safe bets. If they aren’t fond of sweets, try a bag of fancy coffee beans instead.

3. If we learned anything from Master of None, it’s that a fancy candle can go a long way in a small space like an office. Plus it’s fun to smell all the candles while you’re shopping.

4. Most people, no matter the pay-grade, appreciate indulging in fancy versions of everyday items. Switch up their kitchen routine with a small splurge on a shelf stable item like seasonal jam or olive oil. For bonus points attach a simple recipe that showcases the ingredient.

5. Use some of that personal knowledge you have from years of working together and get them a classic record for their underused record player, or pull from an inside joke and get them something weird to make them smile.

If none of these ideas fit the bill, look for something local and support a small business in your neighborhood. If you’re in Toronto, check out some of my favourites; Lost & Found, Easy Tiger, and Good Egg.

See all Gift Guides here.

Serious Consideration

I haven’t seen Herb & Dorothy yet, but I am already inspired to begin my own domestic art collection. The movie is about how a postal clerk and a librarian who “build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means”. They collected what they loved and never spent more than they could afford. 30 years after they started they had accumulated over 2,000 works and had filled their little apartment to  the brim.

If I love it, I should buy it, if I can afford it, I will keep it, it will be awesome. I guess I am in the stage where things can be framed and hung instead of push-pinned and taped to the walls.

Anyway, thinking about these pieces to be the first of what I hope will be a gorgeous collection of humble prints (and some originals from friends)!

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Portrait of Mina Cvetkovic by Danny Roberts of Igor + Andre

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Spaceship Diagram from Jonathan Rowell

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Sketches from Laura Laine, oh I wish she had a shop of prints!