One of my ex co workers recently helped me with glowing references, so I have been thinking to give him a gift card. Not a big one but just a small one. Would it be right to do that?

  • it sounds like a very nice thing to do. I don't see a conflict of interest. – andi Jun 4 '15 at 21:00

Personally I would just thank him in an email and leave it that. It's not that it's a "kick back", but if you're anything like me, you will work in more than one location during your career. Do you give him a gift every time? What about other references? What if a future reference isn't quite so glowing (due to the passage of time)? Do you withold a gift? At what point could it all become unprofessional?

It's not a big can of worms, but it's still one I'd leave closed. Thank him and move on :)

  • 1
    I like this answer and agree. The imagery of you withholding gifts because someone gave you a normal reference as opposed to a "glowing" reference cracks me up. – zfrisch Jun 4 '15 at 22:23

If you're friendly with this person, I don't see an issue.

If you're not relatively close with this person, it could be mistaken for some kind of kick-back.

  • I worked quite closely with him since he was my manager, so I thought I should give something to him as a token of appreciation. – latestbot Jun 4 '15 at 19:59
  • If he was someone you know well, then there is no harm. I personally don't, because it gets expensive if I have to use them again in future as a reference! ;) – Jane S Jun 4 '15 at 21:18
  • It's not a kick back if he wasn't expecting it in advance. – Ken Liu Jun 4 '15 at 21:41

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