When someone does you a professional favor, like passing along your resume or putting in a good word for you with their manager, you may opt to go beyond a thank-you note and purchase them a small gift. But finding the right type of gift – one that expresses sincere gratitude without seeming like you're trying to suck up or bribe someone – can be a difficult task, especially if the person you are trying to thank is your boss or a co-worker.
However, it doesn't have to be stressful or expensive to track down an appropriate thank-you gift for professional contacts. Here are 10 ideas for gifts (most of which are under $50) to inspire you.
Godiva Chocolate Gift Boxes (from $20)Credit: Godiva.com
Whether you are sending this to your boss or a friend who helped you land a job, chocolate gift boxes are the perfect way to say thank you. It's not too personal but can be if you know what the person likes. Godiva offers a variety of chocolate gift boxes, some for as low as $20.
Embossed Leather Journal ($40)Credit: GiftTree.com
A personalized journal is the perfect outlet for someone to take notes, write down thoughts or quotes, or keep track of schedules. This leather journal will last as long as there are pages left and is durable enough for travel. Not to mention, it'll look great in the hands or briefcase of whomever you gift.
Engraved Pen ($11)Credit: Baudeville.com
Even in the digital age, most professionals still need a pen at some point throughout the day. Gifting a high-quality, sleek-looking pen will scream "success." This one has "Boss-some" engraved right on it to let your boss know exactly how grateful you are.
Office Putting Mat ($22.50)Credit: JEF World of Golf / Amazon.com
Whether your recipient works at home or in a high rise, being glued to a desk for eight or nine hours can get boring. If someone has helped you out with getting a job, proofreading your emails or getting your lunch, why not reward them with a way to clear their head so they can be ready to tackle the work day? A putting green small enough for any office may do the trick.
Starbucks Via Instant Coffee and a To-Go Mug (price varies)Credit: Starbucks.com
For on-the-go professionals, grabbing a cup of coffee at the office isn't always an option, and going to a coffee shop everyday can get pricey. Starbucks Via instant coffee comes in a variety of brews, including iced, hot, flavored and even lattes. Mix with water, add your favorite milk or creamer, and you're good to go! Pair it with a retro traveler mug and they'll be looking for thank you gifts for you in return.
Personality Desk Sign, $30Credit: WHATONEARTH / Amazon.com
While your boss most likely already has an official desk sign, these could be the perfect novelty gift for a professional looking to add a little personality to their desk. Whether it's an inside joke, a quote or saying, or just a silly pick-me-up, a personality desk sign will make any desk feel complete.
Amazon Kindle Gift Card (price varies)Credit: Amazon.com
Does your recipient always have their nose in an ebook? If so, let them choose their next Kindle read with an Amazon gift card. This way, they can get books or magazines of their choice and think of your kind gift while they're reading. Gift cards can be purchased at big-box stores like Walgreens or directly on Amazon in a range of amounts.
Personalized Stationary, $36Credit: PaperSource.com
Help your colleague write their own thank-you notes by gifting pretty, personalized stationary. The lucky recipient of this gift will be able to use the stationary to write his or her own thank-you notes, general hellos, or even write their grocery list.
Edible Arrangement (price varies)Credit: Edible Arrangements
When that snack attack hits the afternoon, avoiding the vending machine is hard. But it's made easier when someone has a cute Edible Arrangement right at their desk. Whether you send a "thank-you" arrangement full of fruit, chocolate-covered strawberries or marshmallows, that 3 p.m. snack craving doesn't stand a chance.
Tea Kit, $39.95Credit: TeaBloom / Amazon.com
If the person you are thanking loves tea, this gift will warm their hearts and make them feel like a tea connoisseur. This beautiful set comes with a glass pot, an infuser and blooming tea flowers in a decorative gift canister.
All prices and purchase links are accurate as of publish date.