Summer temperatures fade and cool chills move in, these are signs that the holidays are right around the corner. Along with the holidays comes the influx of social gatherings in a business setting. Holiday parties, award ceremonies, speeches and the like. So what does this mean if you’re employed at a company? Additional responsibilities concerning social interactions. For instance at holiday parties there is (normally) alcohol. We’ve all seen the movies where the irresponsible employee drinks a little (or a lot) too much at a corporate function and ends up making a major fool of himself. Yikes! So what does one do in the case of a corporate event? The point is to socialize and network with coworkers, right? It is and that’s why paying attention to body language, social cues and alcohol levels is quite pertinent.
Top tips for making sure the holidays don’t ruin your career:
1) Watch alcohol levels: Either you decide to not drink or keep it to a minimum. It’s not impressive to see who can consume the most alcohol, especially at corporate functions. Stick to one or two alcoholic drinks and be sure to have water before, between and after.
2) Monitor noise levels: Along with drinking, no one wants to see the intoxicated employee make weird noises while disturbing the party. Keep in mind other people’s volume levels and adjust accordingly.
3) Engage with new co-workers: Sure most of us tend to talk with the people we already know, but make it a priority to talk with as many new co-workers as possible. Use the first hour of an event to make a figure eight out of the room by going around and saying hi to new people throughout the event. Then, spend the rest of the event either continuing those conversations or engaging with your current workplace friends.
4) Play nice around the boss: Corporate events/parties are less formal environments where it may be tempting to strike up conversations with higher up executives (unless you are the CEO!). Be cautious on how you approach those situations. It’s alright to interact with people who you may not be able to work with on a normal basis as work, but be sure to keep in mind it is also a party and conversations should be light and stray away from business talk. Not many want to chat business if they just got done a full day of work anyways.
Have you been to any corporate celebrations lately? What was the event and how did you interact with others? Let thoughts on how to take corporate event interactions BEYOND business basics in the comments below!