How to Advance Your Career at the Office Holiday Party

Posted on 11/29/2012

Holiday office parties may have been shelved for a couple of years due to the economy, but they're making a comeback. Don't get too excited-- it's not an excuse to relive your college days. Instead use the office holiday party to advance your career with these rock star moves.

Consider Yourself On the Clock While it may be tempting to let loose during this party, think of it more as a networking event. It's an opportunity for you to interact with the higher ups in a more casual setting. But it's still important to bring your A game. Dress up, be polite and keep yourself at a two drink maximum.

Engage Spouses
Your boss may seem confident and in control, but their significant other could be playing an important role behind the scenes. The holiday party is your chance to introduce yourself, strike up a friendly conversation and make a positive impression on this quiet power player.

Be Prepared for Introductions
Be open for handshakes and greetings by keeping your right hand free. Hold your beverage with your left hand and put a stash of business cards in your right pocket for easy access.

Prepare Small Talk Subjects
Don't solely focus your conversations on work. Instead strike up some interesting small talk. If you're worried you won't have anything in common, research some easy current event topics before the party. If the conversation sputters, simply ask questions. In general, people love talking about themselves.

Make Future Plans
The work day doesn't always afford opportunities for socializing. Use the holiday party as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for future social outings with people higher up the ladder. These could also prove to be powerful networking events.

Don't Be "That" Guy
Don't be the one that gives everyone something to talk about around the water cooler come Monday. Remember that whatever antics you display could be spread around the corporate world through Facebook and Twitter faster than you can say jingle bells. That means no dancing on tables, no lampshades on your head and no hitting on the boss's date. Leave all that to one of your co-workers who won't be up for a promotion.

By Alison Storm

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