Career gift # 1 is Professional attire. Many new grads struggle to build a professional wardrobe. Stick to retail gift card to stores specializing in business professional or business casual attire such as Men’s Warehouse or Jos A. Banks for men or Kasper and Ann Taylor for women. This way new grads won’t spend the money on other things.
Career gift # 2 is a Starbucks gift card. New grads may need to do some professional career networking over coffee or tea at a nearby Starbucks Coffee shop. It would be nice for a new graduate to be able to pick up the tab for hosting an informational interview or going out with new colleagues.
Career gift # 3 is a real leather portfolio. Not “pleather”. Get real leather. Graduation is a time to upgrade to professional accessories and this career gift will do that. They can be pricy but it’s a really great investment.
Career gift # 4 is Passport fee. I’ve been recommending this for a few years and new grads love it. Write a check for passport fees, and include the passport application.
Carer gift # 5 is membership in a professional association. Find out about a career area of interest and pledge the membership fee for the first year for a new grad.
Career gift # 6 is the first student loan repayment. New grads know only too well that college loans become due six months after graduation. Offer to pick up the first payment or the first few payments for a new grad.
Career gift # 7 is a tablet. If the college graduate already has a smart phone, consider upgrading with an iPad or a similar tablet.
Career gift # 8 is transportation. Doesn’t sound cool, but this is a necessity that new grads overlook. Whether they have a job, looking for a job, apartment hunting etc, they will need mobility until they get a paycheck. This could be bus passes or tokens, gas card or navigation equipment.
Career gift # 9 is career coaching session. The job market is a competitive place for new grads. Just as you would give a gift card for a spa treatment, gift a session with a professional career coach. Find a coach you trust and make the connection or pay for a career assessment session.
Career gift #10 is magazine subscription. There are certain magazines and media that will help new grads transition from college campus to the real world. Some to consider: Fast Company, B.O.S.S. Mag, Black Enterprise and Success Magazine. Find out where their occupational interests lie down the road. Magazines and business media can help them get there.