It’s graduation season again! Yay! Our families are excited about celebrating the accomplishments of our family and friends as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and enter a new chapter in life. This is a special moment, and you want to give a gift that the graduate will not only LOVE but will also USE. It’s pretty simple to find gifts for high school graduates who are headed to college, but what about those who are graduating from college and starting new careers? What do you get a budding professional?
We found ourselves with this dilemma a few weeks ago when we were searching for the perfect graduation gift for my sister-in-law. It got me to thinking, “What do I wish I would have gotten for my college graduation?” So, the wheels started turning, and, thus was the start of this list!
Everyone needs professional business cards. Right? They come in handy when networking for a new job, and there is just something about having your own business card that says, “This person has his act together.” Every new professional needs to understand that branding isn’t just for large corporations. You are a brand, and you want to be a brand that everyone remembers.
This is the gift that we finally decided to get my sister-in-law, and she loved it! We designed the card ourselves, and thanks to Overnight Prints, we were able to get them professionally printed and shipped within 4 days! Plus, the quality was superb! There are other online services like Vistaprint that offer inexpensive business cards, but if you are in a time crunch, we recommend going with Overnight Prints.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTO SHOOT
Oh, how I wished I would have received this as a college graduation gift! When my husband and I had our first professional photos taken, I wondered, “Why in the world did it take us so long to do this?” Having professionally shot photos makes a person’s social media profiles, website, blog, biography, and online resume look 100% more polished. Most photographers offer mini and headshot sessions for those who just want a few shots to keep on hand.
Of course a nice business suit is a must when job hunting, but what most people do not realize is that if a suit does not fit properly it makes you look less professional. Give that graduate a gift certificate to have her business suit professionally tailored so she will look and feel like a million bucks going into that job interview.
A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind. Sometimes staying active after college can be a challenge because you have to be more intentional about working out. During my college days, it was easy to stay active because I would walk around campus all day carrying books. I was also the leader of a dance team, so I had constant activity, but after I graduated I found it harder and harder to stay physically active. If I would have been given a gym membership as a gift, maybe I would be twenty pounds lighter right now…well, maybe.
SUBSCRIPTION TO A PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
One of the best ways to stay on top of the latest trends and news in your field of study is to subscribe to a professional magazine. Graduates will benefit greatly from articles written by and about leaders in their field.
Magazines.com is a good place to find professional magazines organized by category. Below are a few quick links:
- ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
- BUSINESS & FINANCE
- COMPUTERS & ELECTRONICS
- POLITICS & NEWS
BOOK ON HOW TO ELIMINATE DEBT
Unless your student was fortunate enough to have a full ride to college, he probably has some student loan debt. Prepare him for the shock of those student loan bills by giving him a plan to get rid of it ASAP.
Dave Ramsey has some great books and resources to help people in every stage of life get out of debt and stay out of debt. Dave’s book, Total Money Makeover is one of the books that has changed the way our family views money and debt. It is a must-read for anyone who is looking to have financial freedom.
PERSONALIZED VISION BOARD
If your graduate is not sure what direction she wants to go in next, maybe a vision board will help her to process her thoughts and have a clearer vision of what she wants for the future. This is a great and inexpensive DIY project that you can do with your graduate. To give it a more elegant look, you can personalize it or frame it like the one here.
According to the Lynda site, “lynda.com is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, design, and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. With a lynda.com subscription, members receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials. New courses and topics are added every week at no extra cost. We carefully select the world’s top experts who are the best in their field, passionate about their subject matter, and know how to teach.”
The Lynda site is a great tool for those in business, marketing, IT, and creative fields to learn new skills and programs and brush up on old ones.
NEW SOFTWARE/ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD MEMBERSHIP
This is a great gift for creatives – graphic designers, video editors, web designers, audio engineers, writers/bloggers, etc. By having access to the software or programs that are used in his field, your graduate will be able to sharpen his skills and become a proficient user. These are skills that are directly related to his career and will look great on his resume.
With an Adobe Creative Cloud membership, a graduate can unlock his/her creative potential with the many programs included in the membership. Programs include: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Sound Booth, Dreamweaver, and more. The price for the suite per month makes it easy for a recent graduate to have access to the most professionally recognized suite in the market today.
Do you know someone who is graduating this year? What are some things you would add to this list?
In the next blog post, I will continue the series “The Teaching Parent”. In case you missed the first post of the series, 12 Ways to Teach Your Child to Read by Age 3, here it is.