‘Tis the season of the company holiday parties – the perfect time to meet, greet and leave a lasting impression. Below are eight tips you help you successfully navigate the do’s and don’ts of your company holiday party:
1. Do not over indulge. Try the old trick, for every alcohol beverage, drink a glass of water. Do not return to the office the following Monday with sideways glances and chuckles from the people who are supposed to take your seriously. And while you’re holding a drink, keep it in your left hand. Your right hand needs to be available for the firm, but not bone-crushing, handshake.
2. Use holiday parties as an opportunity to network and speak with people who work in other departments. Too often employees fail to leave their comfort zones and explore the world outside of their cubicle or office floor. The holiday party is a great time to meet those people and creating lasting professional relationships.
3. Match your outfit to the event and the venue. If your company is hosting a Christmas party at a local, posh hotel, do not show up in jeans. If you’re leaving directly from work, try switching accessories and add pairing of higher, fancier heels to the office attire.
4. If you’re at a non-work-related holiday party, this is a great time to grow your network. This is not the right time to tell people that you’re looking for a position, but it is the perfect time to make an impression. Follow up a few days later with a LinkedIn invitation and a quick note. A simple, “It was a pleasure meeting you” followed by a personal detail of some sort is sufficient, such as, “Enjoy Christmas in Maine!” or “Have fun at the Sugar Bowl.”
5. Given that it’s a Christmas season, it is perfectly acceptable to send your professional connections Christmas cards. Let them know that you appreciate their business or your working relationship. Or simply say, “Happy Holidays from my desk to yours. “ Feel free to insert an emoticon. (Normally, I frown upon the use of emoticons.)
6. Remember that communication is about listening to what others have to say, not just talking about yourself.
7. Stay off of your phone. Sorry, kids, but Facebook isn’t going to make any memories for you. Get out of your comfort zone, and actually talk to people. I know, I know. This is very difficult. Do it anyway.
8. Do not forget to thank your host. A simple email to your boss or the owner of your company is sufficient. “Thank you for hosting a wonderful holiday party. It is greatly appreciated.”
This blog submitted by Holly Hildreth, West Virginia Junior College Morgantown Campus Career Management Director