The following is a guest post by Mike Cushing.
Office holiday parties may sometimes seem like an extra obligation during the business holiday season, but they also offer opportunities to celebrate the successes of the year and build your personal reputation. Parties offer a number of pitfalls for both employers and employees, but you can ensure everyone leaves in a merry mood with a few simple guidelines.
- Network – Company parties always attract people you might not regularly see, like upper management, people from other departments, and even clients. It may seem odd to schmooze, but holiday parties are a great opportunity to introduce yourself to new people and strengthen your business connections while everyone is in a festive mood. Try not to talk about work, and make sure you don’t keep your company leaders from enjoying the party.
- Stick to the Guest List – Make sure you know exactly who is invited to the party. Some parties are staff-only, so your spouses or significant others may not always be invited. If you are allowed to bring a guest, don’t invite someone inappropriate, like a former employee who left on bad terms.
- Attend, but Not Too Long – According to Glassdoor, holiday parties are pretty low on the totem pole for holiday perks, but it can be important to attend. Even if the party seems optional, try to show up and stay for at least half an hour. Parties are a great way to get to know people in other departments, and you might even have a good time. Just make sure you’re not one of the last people hanging out at the party.
- Stay Professional – After a few cups of the special eggnog, it’s pretty easy to get a little out of control, but remember that your holiday party is still an extension of your office. You are still socializing with your bosses and coworkers, so your actions can definitely affect the workplace after the holidays. Obviously, every company and department is different, so it’s okay to get a little out of hand if the atmosphere allows for it, but try not to get too festive.
(Photo: Jurvetson on Flickr)