Everyone older than 30 has witnessed an Office Holiday Party Gone Wrong. Usually it’s caused by bad behavior — or more to the point — lack of manners and restraint. Maybe some people didn’t understand the concept of consequences for bad behavior. Maybe they wanted to go out (literally) with a self-destructive bang. Or maybe they never got the coaching they needed. Whatever the cause, you surely don’t want to be THAT man or woman. So here are a few tips to not only survive an Office Holiday Party, but to boost your career and your contacts in the process:
It always makes a better impression to peers but especially to management, to slightly over-dress for the occasion. At a work-related party, you still want to look like a professional so neither your image nor your credibility is tainted by poor decisions. Opt for a more conservative look over one that will get people talking. However for Holiday parties, a conservative nod to the season in the form of a holiday-themed accessory is not out of the question, and can, in some cases, help break through that awkward social ice of starting conversations.
Force Yourself to Mingle
Before the party even starts — during your preparation — get in the mindset to mingle with those beyond whom you spend your workday with. Seek out those in higher positions and make a point to introduce yourself if you haven’t met them before, then take a moment to chat with them. This is a chance to put your name on their radar, so don’t spend it as you would in a corner cubicle in the office. It’s okay to spend time with your friends, co-workers and team that you interface with on a day-to-day basis, but reach out beyond the everyday to other departments and functions and get to know those people as well. These contacts can improve your network of acquaintances and may help you do your job better, faster and with more ease than may have previously been possible.
Have A Couple of Conversation Starters In Mind
Sometimes it’s very hard to be spontaneous with people you don’t know, so it’s always a good idea to have a few ideas of conversations that are open ended and not the usual “small-talk” that people so often dread. Only use topics like the weather, traffic or work-related conversation as last resort for conversation openers. Have a funny shopping or hobby or volunteering or sports-related story ready to share and open up discussions in a direction other than work. It will help make you memorable by giving them a glimpse of your interests outside of work.
Know Your Alcohol Limits – and Don’t Exceed Them
Too many people pass those limits at corporate parties and end up embarrassing themselves. Younger people especially have difficulty knowing appropriate limits for various occasions. An Office Holiday Party is not like a frat party in college, or like hanging out at your buddies’ cribs. Avoid over drinking, always be in control of your conversations and actions, and absolutely, positively and more than anything else — always plan to have a safe ride home AND a back-up plan just in case you slip up and over imbibe.
The website popsugar.com, which is extremely influential with millennials, has some useful tips for attending Office Holiday Parties including some very resourceful “Do’s” and “Don’ts” that can help assure a great time, with no negative after-effects or residue — especially when it comes to sharing photos on social media.
For more serious, corporate-minded people attending business or Office Holiday Parties, businessinsider.com offers 15 tips to help you make the most of this business and social networking opportunity. Of particular importance in the business community, one must realize that not all people are of the same religion or celebrating the same religious holidays as everyone else — even at the same holiday party: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all celebrated and observed at the same time of year. Business Insider encourages politically correct conversations so as not to alienate people that can help you succeed in your business.
So this holiday season, relax and enjoy yourself; make new friends; discover new things about people you already know; and enjoy spending time with people that you know and don’t yet know, because there is a whole lot that we can all learn from each other!
popsugar.com – “7 Dos and Don’ts For a Successful Holiday Office Party”
businessinsider.com – “15 Survival Tips for the Office Holiday Party”
forbes.com – “The Secret to Surviving Your Holiday Office Party”
salary.com – “6 Tips to Survive Your Holiday Office Party”
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