Gift-Giving Ideas from All Things Admin

Nov 10, 2016 | Procedures

ift-Giving Ideas from All Things Admin

Whether it’s an annual holiday, Boss’ Day, Administrative Professionals Week or another special occasion, figuring out gifts for your executive, colleagues and office friends can be a challenge. You don’t want to give gifts that are too personal, but you don’t want to buy randomly selected items that will end up in next year’s White Elephant exchange, either! If you’re looking for gifts that will fit the bill, no matter who you’re shopping for and no matter what the occasion, this list is for you.


Do you have a bibliophile on your list? These books are some of my favorites, and I highly recommend them for the readers on your list!

Who Took My Pen…Again? – This book is perfect for executive assistants, because executive assistants wrote it. Discover practical, creative strategies for achieving success and learning to lead.

SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best – Written by productivity expert Laura Stack, this book explores behaviors that will build leadership skills, boost efficiency, and help blast the reader to the top of their field no matter what their title may be.

What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do – Another Laura Stack offering, this book teaches her step-by-step Productivity Workflow Formula. It explains how to organize your life around what really matters and let go of the things that don’t. (This book is the perfect component to our new Productivity Series, which features the techniques covered in this book!)

StrengthsFinder 2.0 – I have gifted this book by Tom Rath to more people than just about any other book in print. Buy one for yourself and your executive. Then use it to discover your top five talents and learn how to better leverage your strengths in combination with your executive’s strengths to create a powerful working partnership.

The Organized Admin – This is my newest book, which deals with the principles of organization. Here’s what admin Kemetia Foley had to say about it: “Once again, Julie Perrine hits the ball out of the park! This book is a superb and comprehensive resource for all administrative professionals. I’ll be adding it to my suggested texts for my workforce development students.”

All of these books, and many more that I have on my own personal bookshelf, can be reviewed here.

Fun and Functional Gifts

Need something to make your co-workers grin? These affordable options will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Swissvoice ePure BH01I ePure Bluetooth Handset and Speakerphone for iPhone with Siri Integration – Sleek and fun, this handset works with any device equipped with an AC jack, and improves voice quality and comfort.

Kikkerland Mini Leather Briefcase – At 4” x 2.5”, this certainly isn’t for toting files, but it is a cute way to carry business cards, credit cards, or cash!

The Daily Mood Office Chart – Stressed? Silly? Sad? Let the whole office know! This flip chart features 47 different emotions so no one has to guess how anyone else is feeling.

Travel Gear

Is your executive constantly on the go? These handy gifts are sure to help make traveling a bit easier.

Travelon Packing Squares (Set of Three) – This set keeps small items from gravitating to the bottom of the suitcase. Each square has a mesh front, making it easy to see inside, and they nest for easy storage when not in use.

Travelon Micro Scale – Most airlines charge fees for overweight bags. Check before you fly and save a pretty penny! At only 3 oz., this scale packs a punch, weighing bags up to 110 pounds!

Skooba R750-300 Cable Stable – Chargers, power cords, and USB cables have a way of tying themselves in knots when you’re not looking. Skip the time spent untangling and use the Cable Stable, instead. The 15 spaces hold cords, wires, cables, battery packs, and more!


Investment Gifts

As an admin, you know how tough it can be to keep your skills relevant. So instead of purchasing a “thing”, why not give your colleagues and co-workers the gift of knowledge?

Our Training on Demand section offers courses on more than 50 topics, the 5 Days to Better Office Procedures Challenge (now available year-round) will help your co-workers get their procedures finished once and for all, and the AdminPro Training Series offers tried and true strategies on a variety of topics that can be implemented right now!

If you’re still stumped for gift ideas, you can’t go wrong with sharable treats (think gourmet chocolates, cookies, or edible fruit arrangements), hobby-centric offerings (a subscription to a classic car magazine for an executive obsessed with his 1965 Mustang), or gift cards to nearby coffee shops, delis, or restaurants.

Office Gift-Giving Tips

Finally, inter-office gift giving can be a little tricky – even if you mean well, it’s easy to offend someone, or get yourself into a bad situation. Avoid both scenarios by following these tips:

  • Check your office’s policy on presents before you start doling out gifts. Not all offices participate in gift exchanges, some have limits on the amount that can be spent, and others expressly forbid the practice altogether!
  • Pay attention to your workplace culture. While a small, close-knit company may have more of an “anything goes” mentality, larger organizations may frown on that gag gift, no matter how perfect it seems.
  • Now is not the time to suck up! Spending an inordinate amount of money on your executive in an attempt to garner his or her favor is going to reflect badly on you, both with the management and with your co-workers.
  • Stick to your budget! There is absolutely no reason to go into debt trying to buy something for everyone. If you simply can’t afford it, a homemade treat or craft, along with a card signed with your best wishes for the season, will more than suffice.

What are your favorite go-to gifts for office gift-giving? Share them with us here.

© 2016 Julie Perrine International, LLC

Want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or website? You can — just as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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