Holiday Party = Strategic Opportunity

business (1)The company Christmas party has mostly been replaced by the company Holiday party.  Some companies are holding the Holiday party as early as the beginning of November.  Regardless of when it’s held it isn’t too early to start planning your strategy, because a company party is not a traditional party.  It’s a networking event, one you should take full advantage of.

According to various surveys managers say 15% – 25% of employees have limited their career growth because of inappropriate behavior at company functions.  An additional percentage may not have limited their growth, but they behaved poorly enough that their lack of judgment was noted and remembered.  Most people who’ve been to a company party have a cautionary tale about someone’s bad behavior and the posted pictures to prove it.

Be smart and make sure those stories and pictures aren’t about you.  Recognize and treat your company’s Holiday party as a strategic opportunity to advance your career.  Do your due diligence and develop a strategy to get positive recognition.  Here are a few tips to follow, which will help you.

Don’t drink – Remember, this is a work function you’re using to advance your career and you don’t drink on the job.

Don’t eat – It’s inventible, just when the CEO is free for you to make your move your breath smells like garlic, something is in your teeth and you’re unsuccessfully trying to juggle a used plate, soiled napkin and dirty utensils.

Don’t complain – A Holiday party is the time to be positive, appreciative and socially engaging.  People respond to genuine appreciation, not kissing up, of a job well done.  With the information you gathered use specific examples to highlight other’s and the company’s successes.

Don’t talk too much – You finally have a chance to meet the VP you’ve wanted to meet, don’t waste the opportunity by talking about your dog.  Plan on having a couple of things to say and ask, but let her do most of the talking.  People love to talk about themselves, learn to facilitate it.  Studies show that people who’re good listeners are perceived as knowledgeable and accomplished.

Social intelligence is vital for advancement in most workplaces.  Be smart and use the Holiday party as a networking opportunity to showcase your social skills.  Arrive on time, stay until the end and make the effort to speak to as many people as possible.  The adage – it’s not what you know, but who you know – is old, but still true.  Don’t ever doubt it, someone in the room is noticing.