7 Gifts to Give Yourself (And Your Career)

If you’re anything like me, you’re knee-deep in holiday shopping right now. Christmas lists galore, packages from online retailers arriving daily, and tucking things away in secret hiding places so the intended recipient will be genuinely surprised.

But what about YOU? You’ve worked hard all year. I know because I speak with so many of you. And I see how much you put into earning a living, providing for your family, and bettering yourself. So this holiday season, I give you permission to splurge – just a little – on yourself and your career.

A Gift List For You

It’s been a few decades since I’ve sent a letter to Santa, but that doesn’t mean I’m not making a list and checking it twice. If you’re thinking about a new career or rocking the one you have even more than you already do, here are some ideas for your wish list. 

The best part? These wishes are self-fulfilling! You can go out and make them happen.

  1. Makeover: It might sound superficial, but a new look can mean a fresh outlook and greater self-confidence. And it can spark some (strictly professional) interest from colleagues. Look for holiday specials at your favorite salon and make an appointment for a new ‘do’ or treat yourself to a mani/pedi. You can even swing by the makeup counter at a department store for some pro tips. Get gorgeous and give your self-esteem a boost.
  1. Wardrobe: You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘dress for the job you want.’ It’s true. If you want to be taken seriously as someone with executive potential, it helps to look the part. But no need to spend a fortune. Cruise the thrift stores or check out online re-sellers like Poshmark. Invest in quality staple pieces, like a fab pair of leather boots or a sharp laptop carrier that will get a lot of use.
  1. Upgrade Your Resume: If you want to make a career change, having a resume that is grammatically correct, appealing to recruiters, and up-to-date with current industry standards is a must. Invest in hiring a resume writer for a professional tune-up. If that’s outside your budget, a friend, mentor, or trusted colleague with good communication skills might be willing to help!
“In the hustle of holiday gifting, don’t forget to give yourself the invaluable present of self-empowerment—investments that elevate your career and nurture your soul.” 
  1. Informal Training: This is kind of like the gift of time. Block out 1-2 hours on your calendar each week for skill-building. With online learning more accessible than ever before, you can literally find a course on anything through sites like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Masterclass. Add useful work-related tools into your toolbox or gain new talents, like knitting a scarf or making sushi.
  1. Certifications: Otherwise known as formal training. It may be that you need specific certifications to advance in your current field. This is an awesome present to give yourself for the holidays. Sign up today and be on your way to advancement.
  1. Get Coached: If you’re ready to invest in your own success, it might be time to hire a career coach. The right coach will help you understand what you really want and assist you in navigating the road it takes to get there. It’s a big first step on the journey of a lifetime – and it might be the best gift you can give yourself.
  1. Permission To Say No: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. There may be a trade-off, but there are always alternatives. This holiday season, my gift to you is permission. You can say no to going to your aunt’s house 3 hours away on Christmas Eve. You can politely refrain from volunteering to organize the office Secret Santa. You can stay in when you’re tired instead of meeting friends out for drinks. Go for NO and keep your agency.
What Are You Wishing For?

You’ve heard my thoughts on self-gifting with your career in mind. Now it’s your turn. What gift are you giving yourself, and what will you do to maximize those gifts in the new year? If a careers or connections coach is on your list, we should definitely talk!

Lisa L. Baker - Certified Personal, Career, Success and Life Coach

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

Ready to G.R.O.W.?