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).
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
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Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com