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9 Holiday Gift Ideas That Will Take Your Career to the Next Level

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woman excited with present

The countdown is on. Hanukkah has already begun, Christmas is less than two weeks away and the holiday season is in full swing.

In case mom and dad are still bugging you for your letter to Santa and you have no clue what to ask for, consider these Brazen-approved gift ideas, all meant to take your career to the next level:

1. A tablet

Whether you’re an Apple or Microsoft fan, both tech giants have new tablets for sale this holiday season. The Microsoft Windows Surface comes with a built-in keyboard, USB port and, as an added bonus, complete access to Microsoft Office programs. Apple’s latest tablet, the iPad Mini, does everything a regular iPad does, but in a slim 7.9-inch display. Both products are perfect for work AND play.

2. A pair of sneakers

Did you know that people who exercise make more money at work? It’s true; according to a recent study from the Journal of Labor Research, employees who exercise earn nine percent more than their lazier counterparts. So if you want to up that paycheck, consider asking for a new pair of sneaks and get ready to hit the pavement to shed those unwanted holiday pounds.

3. Membership to a professional organization

Have you been wanting to get involved in a professional organization related to your career field but don’t want to shell out the cash to join? Now’s your chance to have someone else pay your dues and still reap the benefits. Think about your career path and research the organizations that most closely align with your goals. For example, if you’re a PR professional, consider the Public Relations Society of America; if you’re a journalist, try the Society of Professional Journalists.

4. Spa gift certificate

Picture yourself wrapped in a cozy robe, sipping tea and catching up on a good book before indulging in a heavenly 50-minute massage. There’s definitely something to be said for total relaxation to de-stress, recharge and kickstart your creativity at work. Who wouldn’t be a better worker after some time off to get pampered?

5. Coffee

The gift of caffeine! What motivated young go-getter wouldn’t appreciate a little extra boost of energy in their day? I’m partial to my Keurig (this machine has seriously changed my life), but you also can’t go wrong with a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Many coffee shops even sell reusable coffee mugs that make buying that daily buzz cheaper and greener.

6. Practical gift card

If you must go the gift card route, consider asking for one for something practical like gift cards for gas or groceries. It may seem boring, but let’s face it: most young pros aren’t exactly rolling in the dough. It pains me each week I fill up my tank or fork over $40 at Trader Joe’s when I could be spending my own hard-earned money on something a little more fun.

7. Magazine subscription

Even though e-readers are all the rage, receiving a magazine in your mailbox each month is definitely still something to get excited about. Plus, consider reading magazines as research! There are plenty of business- and career-related publications out there. And if you want to land your own freelance article in a publication, the best way to perfect your pitch is to understand the magazine’s writing style.

8. A beautiful painting or print to decorate your office space

Need to find a little inspiration at work? In this Forbes.com article, Kelley Moore, the author of Cube Chic: Take Your Office Space from Drab to Fab!, suggests that because you often spend more time at work than at home, designing your work space can inspire you to be more productive. I personally find great inspiration in my framed print of the word “hope” using photography of nature turned into letters, similar to these Alphabet Photography prints.

9. Pandora One upgrade

If you’re as sick of those pesky Pandora ads interrupting your music (and workflow) as I am, you may want to ask for the gift of a Pandora One upgrade. For $36 per year or $3.99 for a one-month subscription, you can eliminate ads completely, enjoy higher audio quality and remove the daily 12-song skip limit. Happy listening!

What gifts are you asking for this holiday season to take your career to the next level? We hope you’ll share with us in the comments!

Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.