January 17, 2018

Buying Gifts For Your Boss: A Foolproof Guide


When you have been working for a company for awhile, there is inevitably going to be the point where you have to buy your boss a gift. It’s usually for one of the two big events in the social calendar; Christmas or their birthday.

And it’s never, ever easy.

The simple fact is that your relationship with your boss is always going to involve a power dynamic. No matter how well you get on or how cordial your friendship is, the fact that they are in charge of you in some way is always going to be at the heart of your interaction. That fact alone can make buying a gift for them almost impossible – or it would be, if you didn’t have this handy guide to see you on the right path…

DO: Know What You’re Buying

If you know your boss likes a tipple, then opting for a bottle of their favorite drink is a pretty good bet. However, if you don’t know anything about alcohol, then do your research or you might end up buying them something they hate.

If you’re tempted to buy them something very different – like wine from Minnesota rather than California, or whiskey made in Japan rather than Scotland – then it’s a good idea, but research is even more critical. You want your gift to stand out, which is positive, but it’s got to stand out in a positive way. If they like wine, familiarize yourself with grape varieties and which produce the best wine. For whiskey, make sure you read a Kikori Japanese whiskey review and plenty others before you make a decision. Learn a little about the differences offered by less-well-known products rather than just diving right on in there.

DON’T: Spend Too Much

You don’t want to spend too little, because no one wants to be the employee who comes off as if they are cheap. However, it’s arguably worse if you spend too much – it can look like brown-nosing, as if you are trying to buy your way into their good graces. Always just buy one gift that you are confident that they will like, also – lots of little gifts can still work out as very expensive indeed.

DO: Buy An Actual Gift

When you’re struggling for ideas of what to get someone, what do you usually buy? You buy them a gift card. Don’t do this with your boss. Firstly, it’s a cop out. Secondly, it’s a blazing banner of exactly how much you thought was worth spending on their gift. It’s just awkward. So buy an actual gift, even if you’re not certain that they will like it.

DON’T: Go Too Personalized

The idea of buying your boss something to do with their favorite drink or sports team, that’s fine. That shows you’re paying attention. The personal angle tends to cross the line, however, when it comes to monogramming or anything to do with their personal life. Even if you know they would love it, if it’s not information about them they’d be willing to share on their Facebook profile, it’s not good fodder for a gift.

Good luck!

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