Make The Most Of The Holiday Season

Five ways to shine without short-circuiting

holiday season 1We all attend business events that are dressed up like social occasions. For some of us it’s the local Chamber of Commerce’s after-hours networking. For others it’s the monthly association dinner. Even though there is a social element to these functions it’s easy to remember that it’s a business situation.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when it comes to holiday parties. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season, especially after a few sips of holiday cheer. Still we all need to remember that business sponsored functions are just that, business.

Holiday parties fall into two categories: those put on by professional organizations and the office party (yours or theirs). Generally, association parties are more relaxed than the regular monthly meetings. Often there’s no speaker so members have more time to network. This is your opportunity to make lots of new contacts – to make the most of the holiday season.

If you work in a corporate setting, the office party is your chance to connect with colleagues who work in other departments. It’s also an opportunity to talk with your boss in a more casual setting. This is the perfect time to forge relationships that can further your career.

Wherever you go this holiday season, it’s important to impress without becoming infamous.

Be Sure to Be Seen: Try to talk to as many people as possible, even if it’s just to say hi. At the office party, be absolutely certain to greet your boss and your bosses’ boss too. Thank the people in charge for throwing the bash. Remember a holiday party is a perk not a requirement. At your association spend some time talking to the board members. These are the people who’ve been around for years and they know everyone.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake: It should go without saying, but just in case, remember to go easy on the alcohol. The best solution may be to avoid alcohol all together or nurse one glass of wine all evening. If you decide to drink, a good rule of thumb is to alternate, one alcoholic beverage followed by one non-alcoholic beverage. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Just stick a lemon or lime in your glass and no one will be the wiser.

Dress to Impress: Business functions are not the place for anything itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, cut up to here or down to there. Save that sexy number for socializing with friends. You know the tenet about dressing for the job you want, this applies to the office party as well. Generally, professional association functions are less dressy. A sparkly top under a suit is usually a good bet.

Mix & Mingle: This is not the time to stand by the sidelines chatting with your favorite buddy. It’s the time to meet potential new friends. If you must attend with a friend be sure to spend some time talking to people you don’t know. Dine with new acquaintances to make the most of your time. When attending your partner’s party, make sure you give them time to mingle. Be ready with small talk and wear a smile, they’ll return the favor at your shindig.

Relax & Rejuvenate: Don’t skip exercise during this busy season, it’s more important now than ever. Be sure you get seven to eight hours sleep each night. Allow plenty of time to prepare before a big holiday party, particularly if this is your office party. If you’re planning to be out late try to take a 30-minute nap.

Holiday parties are a great place to deepen existing relationships and develop new ones. Even if you’re not naturally gregarious, make an effort to get the most from the upcoming season. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Chat with everyone. To be well-remembered bear in mind, Nature has given men [and women] one tongue, but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak. — Epictetus

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.

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