Gift ideas for your mentor

Your mentor is indispensable, and the holidays are a fine opportunity for you to show your appreciation.

Gift ideas for your mentor

Good mentor gifts are neither too personal nor too generic.

The holidays are near, and it’s time to start a shopping list for people you’d like to thank for getting you through another year. Among those people: your mentor. A mentor isn’t like an ordinary co-worker or even your boss. So what are some good mentor gifts that are neither too personal nor too generic? This is the person whom you bounce ideas off of and learn from on a regular basis. The person you lean on to hone your craft.

Their list of contributions goes on, but you get the point: Your mentor is indispensable, and the holidays are a fine opportunity for you to show your appreciation for everything they’ve done to help you advance in your career.

Need a little help choosing the perfect present? Here are 12 gift ideas for your career mentor.

A custom Bobblehead

Remember those Bobblehead dolls that replicate famous people? Surprise your mentor with a personalized Bobblehead that looks just like them.

A funny mug

If your mentor is a big coffee or tea drinker, there’s no shortage of mugs with clever sayings on them. A few of our favorites are “Mistress of the messy desk,” “I survived another meeting that should have been an email,” and “If everyone could go ahead and mute themselves, that would be great.”

A framed quote

Who does your mentor look up to? Perhaps it’s a former U.S. president, a civil rights activist, or a novelist. Whoever it may be, find one of their inspirational quotes, have it printed on nice cardstock, and frame it.

A desk plant

An office plant can add a touch of style to your mentor’s workspace. Plus, research shows the presence of indoor plants can reduce psychological and physiological stress. Tip: Choose a plant that requires little maintenance, such as a cactus or snake plant.

An engraved ballpoint pen

Want to go old-school? Go with this classic gift. In addition to having your mentor’s name engraved on the pen, some companies will let you engrave a personalized message on the pen’s gift box.

A desktop organizer

For mentor gifts that are on the more practical side, a desktop organizer can help your mentor de-clutter their desk while still keeping their everyday essentials—i.e., pen, cell phone, scissors, sticky notes, rubber bands, paper clips—close at hand.

A personalized business card holder

Give your mentor a custom box where they can store their business cards or hold other people’s business cards that they collect at networking events. Consider purchasing a leather business card holder embossed with your mentor’s initials.

A clever desk plate

If it jives with your company’s culture, gift your mentor a desk plate with a funny message. Some ideas: “Grammar police,” “Every day I'm hustling,” “Spreadsheet lover,” “Noisy typer,” "I’m on my break,” or “Sarcasm expert.”

A cute mouse pad

Another way to spruce up your mentor’s workspace is with a fun mouse pad, like one with a photo of their dog, their favorite TV saying, or their favorite Disney character.

A virtual exercise class

If your mentor’s gym is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, treat them to an online workout class that they can take from the comfort of their home. And to make things easy, choose a class that doesn’t require any exercise equipment.

A fun desk calendar

A daily desk calendar—such as one with motivational quotes, cute dog photos, sports trivia, or historical facts—can help brighten your mentor’s day. For the young at heart, consider a 12-month calendar with Where's Waldo? illustrations.

Don’t forget a thank-you note!

In addition to giving your mentor a present, make sure to write a handwritten thank-you letter that conveys your appreciation for their guidance and support. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot.

Give yourself this perfect gift

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