Company Christmas Party: Go or No?

Now is the time of year for company Christmas parties. Whether you’re the kind of person to look forward to wearing funny red hats or if you are the type to avoid company gatherings like the plague, holiday jamborees mean a great deal more than eggnog. Truth is, what happens during holiday events could enhance your professional standing (or, on the other hand, not attending may leave a bad taste amongst your peers and supervisors by sending the wrong kind of message).

Tropical Air Gathering, 2013
Tropical Air Gathering, 2013

Dusting off holiday humbugs and attending Christmas parties and networking events would be beneficial to you personally and, most undoubtedly, professionally. Upon holiday event invitations, consider the following when making your decision as to “go or no.”

Networking

The Networking advantages during company Christmas parties should be enough to kick out uncertainty. Christmas parties are a priceless opportunity to network with individuals in your company that you may not work with on a daily basis. Maybe they are in the department that you wish to join, maybe they have the position you want, or maybe they’re even in charge of that department or position. This is your chance to build professional relationships outside of a normal work day, and most importantly, to let peers and supervisors get to know why you are a great employee looking for growth.

Added bonus: Taking advantage of Holiday Company networking by making a positive impression they won’t forget is your career advantage during promotions or transfer opportunities.

Camaraderie

This is another valuable aspect of these gatherings. While not everyone feels precisely the same way about the holidays, this is nevertheless a personable opportunity to showcase festivity and company buy-in. Building professional identity and company unity by taking take part in activities that are not necessarily work-related has been proven to enhance the working environment while also increasing output. Company owners and supervisors alike recognize the importance of camaraderie and the effects of a positive working atmosphere.

During the holiday party, it is not recommended to hang around the circle of peers  you hang out with outside of work all the time… this is the time to discover and expand your depth of professional relationships.

Camaraderie clue: Keep conversations positive and casual, benefiting not only you and your coworkers, but your company as a whole.

Self-Confidence

However you may feel about yourself now, there is so much to be said for stepping out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territories, especially in your place of work. Getting to know new people is often a psychological hurdle. However, it is one with rewards much greater than the risks. This is most true when it involves those that have the potential of advancing your career. If you can learn to work the room and mingle an appropriate amount, letting people view that winning side of you, you will see positive results.

Or you can politely decline and not attend the company Christmas party. By doing so, what messages are you sending? Here’s a clue or two: you are not a team player, you are more important than other employees, you don’t care about the company, your job, or the people around you.

Problem is Perception: Looking through the eyes of supervisor(s), co-workers, and owners, NOT attending provides a negative perception. When it comes to career success, nothing tops more than how one is viewed… professionally AND personally.

There are many reasons to attend your company Christmas party. You can walk away with new contacts, a renewed vision of your career, and possibly new goals as well. You may have even made an unlikely friend and gained a funny (hopefully harmless) story to tell later on. Whatever you do, don’t pass up this opportunity. Work hard to make the most of each opportunity and do not compromise your career by ignoring the rippling effects holiday parties produce. You’ll thank yourself later. And, of course, most importantly, have one very Merry Christmas!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Career Advantage: Truth and Digital Clean-Up

When I was younger, in the years just before digital networking launched into full force, I refused to change my voicemail. I liked having a crazy voicemail recording that would throw people off. The messages received in return were hilarious to me. Sometimes I would play songs that sounded vaguely relevant to missing a call, sometimes I would make up a character and use a different voice. Of course, I also did that trick where you make the caller think that you answered the phone to make them feel dumb.

When I was applying for summer jobs during college, I neglected to think of the fact I was putting my cell phone number on these applications and that my voicemail was ridiculously unprofessional. I wasn’t applying for jobs on Wall Street or anything. But I still learned my lesson the hard way when I missed a call from the manager of a book store where I really wanted to work. Needless to say, he did not leave a message, and when I called the number back, I was humiliated (and embarrassed) as he told me why.

The days of silly voicemails are long gone for most of us, even when we’re not job-hunting. But also gone are the days where our phones were the first point of contact between us and a potential employer. Now you can be googled, facebooked, pinned, tweeted, and linked in before you’re even aware that someone knows your name.

No longer a voice-line first impression, online comes with her own set of conquests and consequences…

What does your online personality say about you?

Don’t want to double down what you already know, but it’s no new thing to warn about social networking. Movies and TV shows, career workshops, and our well-meaning conservative relatives have been telling us for at least a few years now.

First truth is, now is the right time for a digital clean-up.

Take an objective look at your online performance. From someone else’s computer, and perhaps even in someone else’s company, peruse your profiles. Search your own name. Make sure you not only check the web search, but the image search as well. If you find something questionable, fix it.

Objective honesty is the second truth… after examining your online presence, what three things (images included) do you believe should be edited or removed immediately?

Third truth: Editing or removing questionable content and images is not about censorship. Perhaps I used to think it was but I don’t believe that anyone, not even a potential employer, wants a carbon copy of every overly-dedicated “yuppie” out there.

Ultimate truth: Cleaning up your digital presence is about maintaining your credibility along with your individuality so that you don’t sabotage either the pursuit or stability of your career.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Holiday Career Advantage: E & E

Knits by Elaine
Knits by Elaine

Sure you have a lot on your plate. It’s the holidays. All of the excitement in the air is balanced by the work you are doing. You’re preparing for family, and that alone takes be physical, mental, and emotional effort. There’s so much to be done… cooking, cleaning, shopping, rearranging, scheduling, decorating, and the works.

Here’s a plan: Instead of feeling overwhelmed by chores and chaos, get some Experience and Exposure with a seasonal job. Students, entry-level candidates, and experienced professionals, if you’re unemployed and looking for that perfect career, don’t pass up an opportunity to make some extra money and add to your resume. Money aside, there are benefits to working a holiday job that strongly outweigh the work. And these will exist at whichever job you find.

E&E
Experience and Exposure are the two things you should be looking for; not only in seasonal jobs but in every step you take toward your career progression. Gaining hard skills (experience) that can be utilized anywhere from your home to your job should be a constant goal regardless of what path you are pursuing. In addition to experience, exposure should be a constant goal. Maximizing exposure gets your smiling face out there while enhancing hard and soft skills for the world to see. Throw in professional networking and the world may soon be your oyster.                                                                                   

Discounts
Maybe your favorite store needs a temporary cashier or stock person for this busy season. This way, not only will you be somewhere that you enjoy, but you’ll get discounts for being there! Managers jump to hire people who have a passion for where they work and are willing to share that passion with customers. To secure discounts while securing cash and fun is a winner for all participants.

Magic
This time of year is magical for so many people. Wherever you decide to find a holiday job, be it at a store or a theme part or Christmas tree tent, you will share a part in someone’s holiday spirit. You’ll see families looking for perfect gifts or events, and you’ll see children who see magic in the air. Being a part of the moment could renew your spirit this year and stay with you for a lifetime… joining this bandwagon brings more than a hayride.

Take advantage of the holidays and become active… sitting around sipping eggnog may be nice, but there’s so much more… all you have to do is try. It’s never too late to live this holiday season to the fullest.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com