If your boss is retiring or leaving to start a new job, it is customary to buy a gift. Although you could buy a gift individually, have a monetary collection in the office so that everyone contributes a small amount to buy something as a group. Buying as a group takes the pressure off what to buy because everyone can get involved. What you buy will depend upon how much you like your boss, what sense of humor he or she has and how long you have worked together. There are lots of gifts you could buy depending upon your budget and tastes.
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If your boss has a good sense of humor, then incorporate this into the farewell gift. Make a computer presentation but turn it into a fun look at your years of working together. Include funny moments or lighthearted quotes from members of staff. Use photographs from past office parties. You could make a short video to play at the presentation where members of staff say a farewell message. End the presentation by presenting your boss with a framed group photo signed by staff members and a card from the group.
Buy a practical gift that your boss can use in his or her next venture. If your boss is leaving to work oversees, buy a passport wallet and luggage tags. Alternatively, if he or she is leaving for a more senior position in another organization, get your boss a professional pen, new briefcase or stress ball that he or she can use in the new job. If your boss is retiring, you might wish to buy a gift that can be used now that he or she has more free time, such as a new book or a gift experience certificate to learn a new activity.
Rather than buying one gift, buy lots of little things your boss likes and fill them in a gift basket. From chocolates, scotch, wine or sweets, there are lots of gifts you can buy to fill a basket. For a female boss, you could include treat items that she likes such as her favorite perfume or a new purse. For a male boss, include tickets to a sports event or some beers. Make your basket personal to the tastes and personality of your boss.