Ditch the ties, crochet sweaters, and gift cards – it’s time to revolutionize the way you think of holiday gift giving. Gifts need not be mandatory annual exercises, but can be strategic and advancing for you and your career.
Here are three ways to give your perception of and attitude toward gift giving a 2012 facelift:
Rule: Give to the person(s) least expecting a gift; not only will this negate the immediate assumption that your gift lacks purpose, reason, or sincerity, but it ascertains that they will think more about your gift than any other.
- Possible recipients include: Cleaning staff, superintendant, security guards, janitors, not your boss’s secretary (but the boss you want to work for), your “worst,” most dormant client.
- Why they are the right people: Firstly, these are the people who deserve the gifts and will appreciate them the most. Secondly, while giving these gifts is intrinsically fulfilling and kind, these people speak and they speak to everyone. The more surprised they are, the more they speak about it; the better you look, the more people like you.
Everyone wants to hire the popular person in the office, who gets along with everyone from the elevator serviceman to the boss. People skills, personality, and relatability are all key characteristics that hiring managers are constantly looking for in candidates.
Rule: Dig deep! It’s all in the details, so do research, ask around, and find something specific to them. Engage in conversation and discover what she can use or enjoy.
- Example No. 1: You’re talking to a secretary in the office and arguing over who has the better coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. She is adamant that Dunkin’ Donuts is better. So buy her an engraved mug from Dunkin’ Donuts with packets of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee – or give her everything from Starbucks.
- Example No. 2: You’re chatting with a security guard about his weekend and he mentions he was surfing with some friends. Get him a subscription to a surfing magazine sent directly to his residence with a short note from you.
Attention to detail speaks volumes about someone; it’s the difference between simply giving a gift and building a relationship. Utilize holiday gifts to stand out from the crowd and separate yourself from other candidates; you never know when it will come around to give you that extra help you need.
Rule: Discreet is sweet – don’t hand it over like you would a bill at a restaurant. Be creative and in doing so, reveal another level of your sincerity and creativity.
- Strategy is key. Demonstrate how practical the gift is by inserting it into their daily lives. For example, bring the superintendent fresh coffee in his brand new engraved thermos!
- Stick to subtlety and increase the impact. If you’re replacing something, replace it without them knowing. If you’re close enough with them, buy them a new app for their phone/tablet and leave a Post-it stuck to the back of the device.
The best in the business make it look easy. Don’t turn your gift into a huge deal or monumental event; impress your future employers and employees with your suave subtlety and confidence.
Jason John is Chief Marketing Officer, Digital for Publishers Clearing House, a role in which he is responsible for the development and execution of overall ... read more
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