If there's one holiday activity I can really get behind, it's buying gifts for myself. If you're looking for a job or just want to class up your office accoutrements, here are some gift ideas. (If you're not as selfish as I am, these are also fine items to give to your favorite job seeker.)
Interview Suit for Him
The quality of your interview outfit really does matter to the interviewer, even if on a subconscious level. It's a worthy investment for any executive. Men should stick to low-key colors like navy and grey. Pinstripes are always in style, but I like a subtle windowpane check because it's less expected. For quality and classic style, you can't go wrong with J. Press. This one is on sale for $712.50.
Interview Suit for Her
Here's a surprise source for well-made suits for women: J. Crew. I happen to be very picky about suit jackets. One non-negotiable criterion is functional cuff buttons. Almost all women's jackets at J. Crew have them. Their Super 120s hang beautifully, and you can't go wrong with the pinstripe jacket ($240) and high-waisted pencil skirt ($128).
Who would have thought one of the cheaper items on this list would be from Hermés? When interviewing for a job, always take notes. Interviewers think it's a little weird when the candidate they're interviewing doesn't write anything down. The simple, compact agenda Ulysse PM agenda cover (5 ½" x 6 ½") is subtle and professional-looking. $190 at Hermés. Filler notebooks and accessories start at $60.
Whether you're looking for a job or you do contract work, business cards are a must. No one does them better than Dempsey & Carroll. This is their classic design with options for customization. $250 for 100 cards.
Not every job seeker can afford a coach, but everyone could benefit tremendously from a good one. If you know a job seeker, consider finding a reputable coach and paying for four or five sessions to get him or her started. The recipient of this gift will be eternally grateful even more so than for any gift from Hermés.