Now that December is officially here, many of you know what that means — ‘tis the season for the company holiday party! For many of us, the office holiday party is the perfect way to cap off the year with our co-workers. At a time when many people are stressed about completing all of their work before the year’s end, the holiday party serves as a welcomed social respite.
However, the company holiday party can present its own set of challenges for many professionals. Whether you may be nervous or don’t know how to navigate the different dynamics the party will present, there’s no reason why you can’t have a good time! As long as you’re polite and stick to a well-thought out plan, you’ll be able to get through the party with success:
Don’t skip out
If you don’t know that many people or just aren’t into holiday parties, you may be tempted to come up with an excuse to bail. Unless you have a legitimate conflict, resist this urge and show up. Remember, a company holiday party is a way for higher-ups to show their appreciation to staff and that someone put a great deal of time into planning the event. Your attendance is a sign that you appreciate this effort and that you want to celebrate your team’s and the company’s overall successes over the past year.
Want to know what’s overrated? Being fashionably late to the company holiday party. Sure, trickling in 10 to 20 minutes after the party starts is fine, but getting there well after the party’s start time can be seen as rude and disrespectful. Is this the office and do the rules of punctuality apply to the party? No, but don’t draw attention to yourself by being obviously late to the event.
Keep conversations professional
The company holiday party is a more relaxed environment than normal, but it’s still important to keep conversations professional. If you have a close circle of work friends who you’re comfortable being more open and informal with, then it’s fine to chat as you normally would. However, this party is a perfect opportunity to talk with people who you don’t talk to on a regular basis. Those conversations? Keep ‘em classy.
Do some light networking
Your company holiday party is a great way to get some face time with colleagues that you don’t interact with on a regular basis. While it may be tempting to stick with the people you know, try to make the effort to introduce yourself to colleagues on different teams or from different offices. This is a great way to build new relationships at the company, which can lead to more opportunities for cross-team collaboration in the future.
Show up for work the next day
If you have vacation or personal days left in your pocket that you’re looking to use, the day after your company’s holiday party could be an option you wish to pursue. But, if you aren’t able to do that and you know you’ll be in the office the next day, you’ll definitely want to make sure you keep yourself in check. While the open bar may be calling your name, it’s important to remember that you have a full day of work to look forward to in the morning. Know your limits and don’t let yourself get out of hand!