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Office holiday parties can be minefields. This year, more than 71% of employers are planning a holiday celebration for their employees in December. Any gathering that mixes free alcohol with people at all points on the organizational chart is inherently fraught with potential for career-limiting moves. So often, we talk about all the things people shouldn’t do instead of offering tips and resources to help guide them in what they should be doing, but instead of the usual holiday party calamities, you can use the holiday party as a springboard to leverage yourself and your career.
According to this article via Salary.com, here are 6 tips to survive your holiday office party with a few pointers to help you in your career path.
1. Forget Office Politics for the Night
An obvious no-brainer, but ‘office life’ generally carries over into holiday parties. The solution: Approach others with a new mind-set and use the occasion to learn about them in ways that were previously not on your radar. You may just discover something about their own insecurities at the office.
2. Skip the Small Talk
Moving through the discomfort of approaching someone you don’t normally interact with shouldn’t turn you into the tragically awkward Ralphie Wiggam from The Simpsons. Ask people questions to get an interesting discussion going and use the conversation to discover viewpoints different from your own. You may find that substantive dialogue can earn you respect from colleagues you don’t know very well.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Make efforts to move wherever the action is, and test drive your personal branding. Practicing your unflappable charm on can showcase your skills as a resilient conversationalist.
4. Show Your Warmer Side
Perhaps social intelligence is not your strong suit and you’ve earned a negative reputation during the past 11 months. Decide to engage on a human level and show some humility. Social science research tells us that humility is a key leadership trait and showing some genuine warmth and interest in others can start off the New Year with a little less resistance and better vibes in the office.
5. Project the Proper Status
Status expresses itself through more than clothes. A firm and brief handshake, as well as a sincere smile with genuine eye contact can make an instant impression. For the holiday party, instead of talking about what not-to wear, wear the appropriate work attire and dazzle with a smile. Still need some help? This Infographic provides suggested tips about how to build a good work wardrobe on a limited budget. Read on >>
6. Have a personal branding statement
Rather than sit back and assume your work will speak for itself, come to the party prepared. You are your own brand, and in today’s day and age, you need to think of yourself as a brand when marketing to colleagues, friends, and most importantly potential employers. Take a look at this infographic that outlines 9 basic steps to create yourself as a brand. Read now >>
Know the people you work with. Generally people don't know much about their colleagues. Office Parties and Get-togethers can be a good way to know the people you spend 7-8 hours a day with.