The office Christmas party is one of the social highlights of the year. It’s a time when everyone from the office can come together to chat, relax and enjoy each other’s company outside of the work environment. It’s also a great time to build on those working relationships you already have, especially between colleagues or even with senior members of staff. For many companies it’s an occasion where members of staff from all levels within the company come together and socialise making it an excellent networking opportunity if you’re thinking about furthering your career within the business. We’ve put together some brief dos and don’t s to ensure that if you do network, you’ll leave a lasting impression… for the right reasons.
Do know your limits with alcohol
Alcohol might give you a little Dutch courage, and loosen the tongue making conversation easier, but will it be the right conversation you’re having after one too many sherries? Remember that the people you are with are the same people you will have to face each day at work, and alcohol is often the root of all Christmas party embarrassments. If you’re interested in making a good impression on the boss certainly have a drink if you know you can stop after one or two, or abstain altogether if you can’t be sure.
Don’t pounce on your boss to bend his ear
If career advancement is something you want to achieve from your networking, lying in wait until your boss enters the room before latching onto his side like a lion would a gazelle, is perhaps not the best way to get his or her attention. Choose an appropriate moment, perhaps when your boss is talking to a mutual colleague or friend, or if they are alone at the buffet or bar. This will seem friendly, rather than like a deer stalker.
Do join in with the evening’s activities
Don’t think that by only talking to your boss will you make a good impression. By joining in with the evening’s activities your ability to show that you have a team spirit will not go unnoticed. Even if your main aim is to get some face to face time with your boss or superior, remember that it is a party and as well as enjoying yourself by showing some enthusiasm, you might be making more of an impression than you realise.
Don’t overlook your colleagues
If you don’t talk to anyone else all night for fear of missing a chance to chat to your boss, you might be overlooking other networking opportunities. Take some time to get to know you’re the colleagues you work with and even those you’ve not really had chance to meet. As well as strengthening your working relationship so that your job is more enjoyable, you never know who might know who within the company and by showing a positive attitude to everyone you meet, you are establishing yourself as a strong team player
Do show passion when you finally talk to your boss
If you manage to talk to your boss, it is probably not the time to bore him or her about how well you are doing, or pester them for a pay rise. What it is time for is showing that you are passionate about the business, and that you have ideas for improving service or sales. Keep it short and sweet, don’t roll out your five year plan, but do show that you have a vision and passion for your job.