It’s that time of year again, the holidays. And as you look around the room this year you may notice that ham was paid for with unemployment benefits and Uncle Ricky’s hands look a little rough from where his “Will Work For Food” sign has been cutting into his hands.
So this year as you shop around for the perfect gift, your generosity might be best placed within the parable, “To Teach a Man To Fish” rather than giving him the fish. And I’m here to help you out with the hottest gifts for the unemployed in 2010.
Gas Gift Cards
Looking for a job is pretty inexpensive. With much of the work being done online and over the phone the minimum requirements for looking for a job are internet access and a phone. However, once you land an interview that is when the expenses start to kick in. And assuming you have already taken care of the most expensive part (personal presentation), then the only remaining cost is transportation. This means lots of money going into your car’s gas tank.
The longer you have been unemployed the wider your net will become. According to an ABC News poll the average commuter will travel over 16 miles to get to work. With job seekers having to go on multiple interviews before they land a job, this travel can really hurt their pocket books.
Most gas stations offer gift cards and although not the funnest thing to receive for the holidays, it may be one of the most practical.
A Self-Help Book
I hate the term “self-help” as much as the next person, but if someone is having trouble finding a job, improving themselves is probably a good idea.
There are a wide range of books out there, so it is up to your to figure out what book you think will be welcomed by your giftee, but here are some suggestions to get you started.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey – An oldie but a goodie. It has been over a decade since this book was first published, but it continues to remain as one of the most successful books in personal improvement. Covey also updates the book with each new round of publishing, so it may benefit you to get the latest edition.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss – This is a current favorite among the internet entrepreneurial crowd. Ferriss takes a very untraditional and modern approach to self improvement. Ferriss is also quite the character so this book, if nothing else, is entertaining for the reader.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell’s fresh look at the world through keen analytical eyes has delighted readers in The New Yorker magazine and the radio program This American Life. Yet, it his series of books that take an intensely fascinating look at the world around us and how humans actually work.
A Homemade Coupon Book
I know I’m not the only kid that would get their parents handmade booklets that included coupons for hugs and mowing the lawn (not that I didn’t have to mow the lawn anyways).
And with many people who are unemplopyed money is tight. And sometimes when things are going well you can forget how hard it is for some people just to put food on the dinner table. Why not make your own coupon book with coupons for “A night out on me” or “Babysitting the kids” so they don’t have to pay a sitter.
And people always love when a gift comes from the heart and not a Best Buy catalog.
Wait, business cards? Well, not for their job silly, but personal branding cards.
Personal branding business cards tell a future employer that you are incredibly serious about finding a job (and hopefully not that you are making a career of looking for one). They are also very handy for any situation where you might be making a new connection. Say you meet someone who could potentially help your career. Give them your email on a napkin or hand them a sleek card with all the information they need?
Not to mention your receipient can throw a couple cards in the bowl at the local T.G.I.F. and maybe win a free dinner – double win!
You can browse Amazon all day long looking for the perfect gift to make your giftees heart flutter, but the sure fire way to get a reaction is to give them a step closer to what their heart truly desires, a job lead.
If you’ve ever been unemployed you know the roller coaster ride that is going on interviews, hearing from employers, and finally landing that job. You definitely go through the gambit of emotions. And if you truly want to give the perfect gift, help them with a nice job lead, they will love you for it.Frankie Eybsen is the marketing manager for ResumeBucket. Frankie has worked in marketing, web design and development, and SEO. He maintains a large client list for both marketing jobs and production. You can send him an email at email@example.com.