How to Select the Right Birthday Gift for a Co-worker

Getting the perfect gift for your co-worker can be tricky. There are inter-office politics and protocol to follow in many cases. Playing favorites is frowned upon since you still work with each person everyday. Giving your boss an elaborate birthday gift may signify to others that you are trying to get ahead of them in the workplace.

When choosing a birthday gift for a co-worker you don't know well or don't work with regularly, the best bet is to choose something that almost anyone would like and/or want. Stationary sets, executive pens, gift certificates to the movies, a handmade card with a note inside expressing your best wishes for them, or a fruit basket make excellent gifts since they can apply to almost any co-worker regardless of gender or role in the company.

If you and your co-worker are friends and see each other outside the office, you should personalize the gift. Books from a favorite author, tickets to a concert, or objects for a collection are all good choices. You may want to give this birthday gift outside the office to ensure other co-workers aren't jealous or accuse you of having favorites.

When working in large offices it's not always financially feasible to buy everyone a birthday gift. Should you choose to celebrate a co-worker's birthday, a gift shouldn't be required. Instead a card should convey your well wishes on their special day.

Secretaries are often overlooked in a busy work environment. You may want to help them celebrate their birthday with a gift that would help ease stress such as a gift certificate to a day spa or a session with a massage therapist. If you don't have much money to spare, a beautiful arrangement of flowers is sure to impress.