By Julianna Durie, PLS
The holiday season is coming. Every organization or professional group you belong to, and your friends and family, are sending out holiday party invitations.
Office Christmas/Holiday Party
For some people the office party is great time to enjoy the company of co-workers and their significant others as they celebrate the holiday with a meal and drinks. Others may see the office party as a waste of their precious personal time to sit around with coworkers whom they see every day while they listen to the boss’ bad jokes. Whether the office party is mandatory or optional, consider these things:
Networking. The office party is great way to meet other professionals working at the company (bigger offices) or to make additional connections with your coworkers or supervisors and their companions. You can officially chitchat without eliciting frowns from your boss.
The Unspoken Rule about Party Invitations. Everyone is busy during the holidays. It is possible that someone will have something else scheduled during the party. However, replying to the office party email with “I don’t attend parties” will not make you friends at the office. A polite response that one cannot make the party will avoid misunderstandings.
An Office Party is Not a House Party. If it’s been said once, I’ll say it again, BE PROFESSIONAL at the office party. While your coworkers may joke about “the time the associate and paralegal got into a drinking contest at the office party and were dancing on the bar,” it is NOT an invitation to duplicate. Drunk, obnoxious, and rude are not traits you want your coworkers or the boss to remember you by. Even worse, your conduct could get you fired. You should also consider the attire you wear at the party. Your clubbing outfit may not be appropriate for the office party.
Keep the Conversation Civil. The party will consist of coworkers, bosses, and often their significant others. Everyone has an opinion, but sometimes it is best to keep it to yourself. For example: Someone’s boyfriend at an office party (for a sales business) was going on about how awful lawyers are, like Attorney X who ruined his life. After sharing his story, he asked if anyone had ever dealt with Attorney X. The business manager then introduced his spouse, as Attorney Y who happened to work in the same firm as Attorney X. It was a very, VERY quiet meal after that.
Remember: office parties do not last forever. A few hours spent making small talk with your coworkers can make lasting professional connections.