The holiday season is in full swing and with it comes the annual office party. These are great occasions to extend your professional network as you hang out with old friends and meet some new faces from other areas of your company.
Between the music and the open bar, however, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these are your colleagues and that you must maintain a professional demeanor if you want to have a job next year.
I’ve seen my fair share of people who forget where they are with and after a couple of drinks start making off-color jokes or inappropriate comments, not to mention those who end up in embarrassing situations with co-workers only to suffer from alcohol-induced amnesia the next day. So, here are a few tips to make the most out of this year’s holiday office party while still keeping your job!
• Dress appropriately. Yes, you want to wear something nice, but don’t go overly sexy. It’s good to flaunt your curves in a social environment but this is still a work related affair, even when it is a social event. Kill them with your moves on the dance floor instead!
• Try to limit your alcohol consumption to one drink. That way you get to relax, and you stay in control of your tongue. The wrong question, a snide comment, or a misplaced funny answer can cost you later. It’s much safer to keep your judgment intact regarding when to use your sense of humor and when to avoid it.
• Watch your manners. So, don’t stuff your face with that delicious shrimp, take your time. Don’t cut the line to order your drink, instead take advantage of the opportunity to chat with others who are standing right next to you.
• Enjoy the evening and work the room. These parties are ideal places to become reacquainted with people you haven’t seen all year long, and to get introduced to some contacts that may offer great opportunities in the future.
• Exchange business cards with your new friends. It’s okay to do that even at a holiday party.
I’ve made some of my best connections at end-of the year parties. Everyone’s relaxed, in a good mood and with a little bit more time to engage in meaningful conversations. Take advantage of that and get ready to start a new year in full gear.