As more and more workplaces opt-in for Christmas festivities, there are mixed reactions from management and staff alike. For some, it’s a chance to let your hair down with your colleagues and talk about something other than work, whilst for others, it’s an ordeal of making 'small talk' with the mundane, watching them slowly derail themselves throughout the night, pretending nothing was noticed on Monday!
We've collated a few tips here to help you navigate the festivies to not only have fun, not be the focus of discussion (for the wrong reasons) the morning after but to also make the most of this opportunity to advance your career as well..
1. Don’t 'talk shop'
The word 'party' should give this away. This is a social outing, not a powwow for that up-coming merger, or analysis of the latest project. Show your colleagues (and your bosses) that you are more than just an office suit. Discuss your interests, hobbies & family in a positive light. Use the opportunity to find similarities and shared interests with others, even those you wouldn't normally speak with. Not only will you 'not' be the 'party bore', but you could really start a connection that could directly or indirecty assist with your career path.
2. Do Drink Responsibly
Ok, so this may seem completely obvious...but if we didn't mention it this wouldn't be responsible advice! Alchohol is obviously one of the biggest risk factors for bad behaviour at any event. Remember, this is a work function and as such, you are still representing not only yourself, but your company too. So, although downing the free booze may seem like a good idea at the time – it’s not! Pace yourself, ensure you eat something beforehand or at the party so you're not drinking on an empty stomach and avoid being 'that person' every one is talking about Monday morning, ruining not only your reputation but in some cases, your career.
3. Don't be crass!
Regardless of the behaviour of those around you (even if it is the boss) don't get too loose with your language or behaviour. Avoid using foul language, inappropriate jokes or going too far with the inuendo's... again, you never know who is 'in' with the boss or who you might offend by trying to 'join in'. Best to play polite and keep your manners in place.
4. Do Mingle
Although tempting to spend all your time with your 'team of besties', use the opportunity to speak with those you would normally not have time to do so, from the receptionist to the CEO and other senior staff, including partners if invited. As mentioned above, you never know who is really 'in' with the boss, or has influence where. This is a great networking opportunity, so without being a schmuck, this is your chance to make yourself known, find a shared 'outside interest' or just say 'thankyou' for the opportunity and put a face to a name, so to speak.
So there you have it, ways to keep your dignity, remain professional and still have fun at your 'Christmas-in-July' work party! So let yourself go... just a little, get to know your collegues and bosses in a more relaxed environment whilst remembering to keep your manners and your career intact.
Here at Trayne Consulting, we like to network too! So we invite you to connect with us socially on your preferred stream and stay in touch. Whether it be for an immediate need, or for something later perhaps, connect with us via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter...You never know where it might lead you!!