How to rule your office holiday party

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When it comes to the holidays, what’s going on at work might be the last thing on your mind. You may even be considering blowing off your office holiday party. But did you realize that your work party is a prime opportunity to network with coworkers and potentially boost your career trajectory?

Below, Seen outlines 8 ways to take advantage of your work holiday party, while making sure you’re presenting yourself as the professional you want to be.


1. Network with coworkers you haven’t met yet.

Your office holiday party is actually a great opportunity for you to meet people from your company that you wouldn’t normally cross paths with.

We all know that networking is an important aspect of individual job growth, so why shouldn’t you take advantage of the holidays to meet as many people in your company as you can? Not only are you opening yourself up to connections that might help you later on in your career, but you might even meet a new office buddy or two while you’re at it.


2. Remember proper office etiquette.

Just because you’re with your office friends in a more relaxed setting doesn’t mean that you can completely forget your manners. Office etiquette is important to maintain. People are still watching and will notice if you’re rude or impolite, which can damage your reputation at your company.

Remember, this is still a business event, and you want to conduct yourself as the same employable professional that you do on a daily basis in the workplace. That means that if you suspect the holiday punch will make you a bit loud or irritable, maybe limit yourself to a dry holiday, at least at a work function.


3. Avoid shop talk.

Now this certainly isn’t true in every case, but generally speaking, nobody goes to the office party to talk more business. Don’t burden your coworkers with the stresses they left back on their desks when they’re trying to enjoy themselves and feel the holiday spirit.

This is also applicable when meeting new coworkers. When networking with new faces in your office, it’s good to show them that you have a personality outside of your profession. When making your introductions, try to show off a bit more of yourself beyond your name and job title.


4. Be strategic with gift giving.

If you’re looking to get on the good side of a coworker or manager, strategic gift giving can be a great route to take. Bringing your fellow officemates a small gift can show them that you are appreciative of the work that they do and that you look forward to another year of working together. This small holiday gesture can go a long way.

Also be aware that on rare occasions gift giving in the office can be frowned upon. Get a feel for what your coworkers are planning before you make your purchases. Is everyone else buying something for each member of the team? Or are they just buying something for their direct superiors?

Don’t spend too much money on your present, but avoid obvious regifting. A good range to stay in is between $10 to $25. The easiest solution is to bake some simple holiday cookies or make a casserole dish that you can share with your coworkers.


5. Don’t be a grump.

We know the holidays aren’t everyone’s favorite time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can be the office scrooge. In fact, being the office grump can negatively impact your career in general, so it’s best to keep your negative emotions to yourself. Let your coworkers be festive!

Stay involved and attentive to the holiday activities happening around you. You don’t have to build a gingerbread house or go caroling around the office if you don’t want to, but stay somewhat present. Be positive and involved to show people that you’re a team player and are able to enjoy yourself even in a professional setting.


6. Don’t play hooky.

It’s not a great idea to skip your office party. Your absence will likely be felt. If you take the time to make even a quick appearance at a company holiday event, people will remember, and it will reflect positively on you.

It’s true that office parties might seem especially unappealing to an introvert. If you find yourself anxious about interacting with your office coworkers outside of the workplace, there are a couple of things you can do to make yourself more comfortable. See if your office allows you to bring a plus one to your company event, which can help make things less awkward for you. Also, remember that you don’t have to stay the entire time, but a little effort, if you can manage it, really goes a long way.


7. Dress appropriately.

This is a work event, after all, so make sure you don’t dress too unprofessionally. This rule shouldn’t be too hard to follow in the colder holiday season, but it’s still important to keep in mind that cocktail attire must be work appropriate.

On a similar note, make sure you don’t dress too relaxed either, even if your workplace is casual. Again, you are still presenting yourself as a professional, even at the company party.


8. Don’t drink too much.

It’s a bad idea to be that person who drank too much at the holiday party. You want to make sure you make it into work the next day. You also want to make sure you don’t drink so much that you do or say something you regret. Office news travels fast, and this is not a setting in which you can afford to build a bad reputation.


The holiday season is already busy enough, but be sure not to neglect the opportunities this time of year presents in the office, and remember to always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Treat the way you present yourself at these office events as a performance of your professionalism.

Happy Holidays from us at Seen!

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