Hey all! I’m in the process of moving, which has been a crazy, hectic adventure. My friend Anne from Unique Gifter wrote a Guest Post in the meantime. The topic seems very apt in this time where a good mentor can make all the difference. If you’ve ever wondered what to get a mentor, this post is for you! Note: there are affiliate links in this post, which means I receive a commission if you click through to these sites, at no extra cost to you.
If you’re lucky enough to have a great mentor in your life, you probably already know how invaluable they can be. How do you really thank someone that has such a positive impact on your life? These gift ideas for mentors can’t make up for everything they’ve given you, but they at least will show your appreciation for those who have helped you through life.
The Best Gift Ideas for Mentors
Mentorship comes in so many forms. You might have a career mentor who’s helped you achieve in the workplace, an academic leader, or someone that’s been more of a personal mentor. Even if that person helped you years ago and you’re finally making those dreams come true, you can still thank your mentor for the impact they’ve had on your life.
If anything, most people who have mentored others will actually appreciate kind words years later. After all, when you mentor someone they’re usually just starting out, so you don’t actually see the results of the work until much later.
A career related gift
If you’re thanking a career mentor, it only makes sense to give them something related to your shared industry. If there’s anything personal you have (maybe you published a book, created merchandise, etc.), your mentor is a great person to give one of those to. Otherwise anything related to their industry is a great idea.
Sometimes a career gift isn’t possible, so anything that will make their job easier also makes for a thoughtful mentor gift idea. Things that people can always use like headphones, notepads, and great quality pens are also nice. You’re going to say “pens, really?” But yes, really. A high quality, daily reminder that you’re thankful for them does make the day better.
A lot of the time our relationships with our mentors are pretty friendly. We usually get to know them, at least well enough to get a personal gift that you know they’ll love. Maybe they play board games or have a growing mug collection, for example.
If you’re not sure, but don’t want to get something work related, you can always go with high quality ‘generic’ gifts. Things like travel food or drink containers, books that you’d personally recommend, and scarves are usually a hit with almost anyone. Coupled with a heartfelt note these gifts are a nice gesture.
Some relaxation ideas
Most people who are willing to mentor others are usually hard workers. Some are probably workaholics, and they all could do with a little more relaxation in their lives. Help encourage a break by giving your mentor relaxation themed gift ideas.
You can get a gift card for vacations, food (and food delivery), entertainment, and basically anything you think your mentor would like. If a physical gift is more your style, high quality spa gift baskets make great gifts, so do nice candles, or even a stress ball.
Mentor themed gift ideas
Some people like these types of gifts. They’re especially popular to give to teachers or other community mentors that you don’t know very well, but have helped you or your child. You could do a nice ‘thank you’ statue, a cute wine holder (with a great bottle of wine!), a keychain, or even a funny mug.
Make sure that you give something they actually would like, though, and not just because it says ‘mentor’ or ‘thank you’ on it.
Food and drinks
Really, this is the one area you can almost never go wrong when giving gifts. There’s pretty much a food or snack gift basket out there to suit anyone’s tastes; with everything from fancy gourmet food gift baskets to freshly baked cookie delivery.
Of course, taking your mentor out for a meal of drinks is a better idea. But these are nice substitutes if you don’t live in the same city. Try to be aware of allergies or dietary restrictions before giving food or drink gifts, though.
A thank you note or card
Normally cards aren’t great gift ideas, but for gift ideas for mentors there’s an exception. Pick out a great thank you greeting card to help get the message along. It doesn’t have to be specifically for mentors, although if you can find one it’s a nice touch. Tuck a gift card inside, or just write a note if you’re on a budget.
The other option is to write a note or letter genuinely thanking your mentor and catching them up on your life. Yes, this can be done by email, but a handwritten note still has a strong, personal impact.
Show them how you’ve succeeded thanks to them
This is probably the best gift you can give a mentor. Rather than just getting something, show them your success. That means thanking them years after they’ve mentored you when you can really see the effects of that help.
A great idea that’s more personal than just an email is to send a flash drive to your mentor. Load it with photos or videos of your success, written work, awards, or anything else you feel they’ve contributed to.
Pay it forward
Your mentor didn’t help you to get something back, they wanted to help you succeed. Since there probably isn’t any gift that can make up for that, the closest thing is to give the gift of mentorship to someone else. Once you are able to, try and pay it forward by mentoring someone else.
Don’t brag, but do let your mentor know that they’ve inspired you to help others. The people who you help are an extension of them helping you, after all.
Other ways to thank your mentor:
- Publicly thank them on social media
- Include them in an award acceptance speech
- Dedicate your book to them
- Call them up and thank them, or visit in person
- Invite them to an event you’re hosting or being honoured at
- Donate to charities or organizations your mentor believes in, or that helped support you
Even if you can’t get your mentor an actual gift, there’s plenty of gift ideas for mentors that don’t cost anything. Just knowing they helped someone will be a gift in itself! Don’t forget to give your mentor updates on your ongoing success, or how you’re helping others in your field too.
Anne loves finding the perfect gift idea that’s on budget. She has been writing about gift giving and personal finance online since 2012, as owner of UniqueGifter.com. Her favourite beverage is champagne and she loves figure skating, even if it’s harder now that she’s not 20!