The holidays are upon us. You might have begun wondering what gifts your favorite Federal employee might want. From an insider’s perspective, we have suggestions! Over the next few days we offer a wishlist of gifts for your stressed out-Fed, health-focused-Fed, teleworking-Fed, and others! Today, we’ll offer suggestions of gifts for promotion seeking Federal employees.

Many of those who visit this blog are looking to improve their career. It’s for that reason, we thought we’d offer some gift suggestions for someone who wants to move to the next level.

But, before you get your handy credit card out, remember there’s some very specific rules that all Federal employees must abide by when receiving gifts. For this reason, we’ll split the gift options out by under $10, under $20, and Personal/Family relationship. For more details about the rules of gift-giving in the government, a good place to look is at the Department of Justice Do It Right page. Of course, if you’re buying these gifts for yourself (we won’t judge) then you can pick from any category.

Gifts for promotion seeking Federal employees under $10

  • Elegance Hammered 6-Inch Stainless Steel Candy Bowl. For someone who wants to move up in their career, it’s about the connections they make in their day-to-day. Someone who keeps a candy dish on their desk has a greater number of people who will come by to chat. More candy = more chatting = bigger network = better chance of promotion. If you don’t believe me, read this short article on the psychology behind the candy bowl.
  • Subscription to GovExec. This is a resource that helps the Federal employees in the know about what’s most important to our executives. Or, at least what they’re most likely thinking about. The particularly good news is that the subscription is free.
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There Summarized for Busy People. Successful people whose career plateaus often don’t understand why. This is a quick summary that provides someone who wants to maintain or improve their upward trajectory.

Gifts for promotion seeking Federal employees under $20

  • Simple Thank You Blank Cards with Gray Envelopes Included. This might be a strange gift for someone else. However, it just reinforces how very important I believe thank-you notes are to helping a career. Thank you notes are rather personal in terms of what is on the front, but these I selected are intentionally gender neutral and simple.
  • Action Day 2017 – Weekly Daily Monthly Yearly Agenda (6×8 / Wire-Bound). You can’t beat a product that says it’s “designed to get things done”. I found this a couple years back. It’s particularly useful for someone who leads a team. This is because  in addition to space for your own task list it has a place for who you delegated work to and what their deadline was. It also has a little rubber band marker to help you keep track of where you are in the year. This is a smaller version, but Action Day also makes an 8×11 version.
  • Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence. This is a good book for helping someone think through their own authenticity as a leader or future leader.
  • Award Challenge Coin Holder Stand (Small). This is a gift that those outside of government (or especially military) are unlikely to understand. Challenge coins are given out by agency executive to those whom they observe having performed exceptionally. If your Fed is someone who has received one, they’ll appreciate having a way to display one of the higher honors for a civilian employee.

Gifts for promotion seeking Federal employees over $20

  • Royce Leather Writing Portfolio Pad. This portfolio pad adds just a touch of polish to someone who is going meeting to meeting. It also offers some privacy to any notes that are taken during meetings. I love them too because I can bring back up materials to support a meeting without anyone knowing it unless I need the materials.
  • Large 2017 Yearly Wet and Dry Erase Wall Calendar, 24 x 36 Inches. Another gift that might be a little strange to give, but another one that is invaluable to someone who wants to move up. The ability to plan and see a bigger picture of how things go together is invaluable as one moves up. Although simple, a year calendar where you can see the whole 12 months helps a lot in seeing the bigger picture.