December 22 2017
Each year, companies across the country host a holiday party. Many employees view this as a chance to let loose and celebrate a successful year. Unfortunately, amidst the celebrations, employees fail to recognize how much the company holiday party can impact their career development, for better or for worse. Be sure to keep these things in mind during your next company holiday party.
Moderation Is Key
Free alcohol is tempting for many, especially when it’s on the company’s dime. But there’s typically no good that can come from it. In fact, Challenger, Gray & Christmas has reported that alcohol will be served at half of the nation’s holiday parties this year, down from 62% last year.
Alcohol encourages people to let their guard down, which can lead to people saying something they regret. It’s important to remember that this is still a work event, and your career development can immediately be stunted because of a foot-in-mouth comment. It can take years to build respect and credibility, but it can be ruined in a matter of seconds.
If you choose to drink at the company holiday party, remember the basics. Don’t drink on an empty stomach, and be sure to keep eating during the party. For every drink you consume, be sure to have water afterward. And practice moderation – having one more drink is not worth risking your reputation.
As much as you can hinder your career development at the company holiday party, you can also accelerate it. The company holiday party presents the opportunity to meet and talk with people that you otherwise would not have the chance to. It’s a great chance to meet the CEO and other senior staff members.
When talking with them, try to avoid talking about work unless they bring it up. Instead, have a natural conversation and allow them to get to know you as a person. It’s strongly recommended that you avoid discussing performance, bonuses, and raises.
It’s also been proven that having friends at work can make you more productive and happier overall. Talk to anyone you get the chance to because you’ll never know who you’ll meet and what friendships can form.
Looking Forward Toward The Next Company Party
If your company has already hosted the holiday party for the year, take time to reflect on the party. What could you have done differently? What lessons can be learned for next year? Do you need to follow up with anyone once the new year begins? Take a look at who embarrassed themselves and harmed their career development, and learn from their mistakes.
Taking time to evaluate the party while it’s fresh in your mind will help come next year. Your company may have another gathering soon, such as an unofficial happy hour or a summer party. The same lessons that can be applied to the office holiday party can generally be applied to any work event.