I'm work for a global professional services firm, which I'm leaving in the next few weeks. I'm wanting to do something for one of my managers who went out of his way on several occasions to help me deal with issues I was having with directors and other senior management in the firm. I'm thinking maybe a gift, but I'm a bit stumped to what it could be.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim G., jcmeloni, gnat, Michael Grubey, IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 30 '14 at 14:11

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If the person is above you in the hierarchy, a physical gift should be a token, if anything. Something consumable, like chocolates or (not always appropriate) wine. Nothing permanent or super personal like jewelry or a framed picture of yourself. Nothing money-equivalent like a restaurant gift certificate.

In that position I would value a thankyou note that was reasonably specific about the behaviours you're thanking for, less

Thanks for your support and encouragement

and more

You put in so much effort to teach me X and I am grateful for that. Also, the introduction to Y and the opportunity to Z will have a long lasting impact on my career. One of my regrets about leaving this firm is that we won't work together directly, but I hope [we can stay in touch, or we see each other at conferences, or we get a chance to work together somehow in the future.] I will keep your [particular strength such as dignity, enthusiasm, commitment, etc] as a model for myself that I hope to reach over my career. Thanks again for everything.

If I got a note like that, I would barely notice if it was attached to a physical present or not.

  • 3
    +1. Note is more important than a gift. – Peter M. Apr 30 '14 at 0:12
  • Thanks for the guidance. Next question - should this be a electronic note by email (or even a public one on LinkedIn), or hand written on a card? – stats101 Apr 30 '14 at 8:37
  • 2
    a paper note or card for sure, handwritten with a pen. (Write out a practice version or two first on scrap paper.) If you want to recommend them on LinkedIn, that would be a less personal thing that you could do as well, not instead. – Kate Gregory Apr 30 '14 at 10:51

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