Dear Young Professional,
The holidays are upon us, and for many companies there is a holiday celebration of some kind. Unless you work for Google, Twitter or Facebook who provide a social workspace with food and drink BAU (business as usual), this may be the only time of “lubrication” for your work year.
You may be thinking “Auntie I work in a place with cool people. In fact, we occasionally go out for drinks after work to catch a game.”
That may be true, however at a company wide event, you will have people from all departments and level of influence attending. As libations flow, your judgement (and actions) may be a bit more uninhibited.
Be careful not to think, “well I don’t drink so this is not an issue”. Remember every action or inaction sends a message about your brand. There is no neutral in business. This may be one of the rare times you interact with an executive at the company. Make it count!
Remember body language is just as important as live conversations. Here’s some tips to consider for this year’s company holiday party to avoid being THAT guy/girl.
1. Avoid Excessive Drinking: a. Limit your alcoholic drinks, get an accountability buddy to check in with during the event.
2. Display Proper Food Etiquette a. Dispose of napkins toothpicks properly b. No “double dipping” c. Keep hands clean for greeting others with a handshake d. If seated for a meal, eat once the entire table is served
3. Engage in Proper Conversation a. Compliment a worker on a recent project win or achievement b. Determine a few safe topics to engage in (travel, hobbies etc.) c. If you expect your path may cross with a leader of the organization, have a couple questions or stories ready to engage them d. Stay positive, if people start to complain change the subject or excuse yourself politely
4. Respect the Time of Others a. Be careful not to be a time hog, especially with executives
5. Prepare your Plus 1 a. If going with a guest remember their actions and behaviors are a reflection of you b. If you expect an opportunity to rub elbows with someone who can help you, let your guest know so they understand the time and attention you may give that conversation
I have no doubt you will have a fabulous time at your company’s event. Take notice of some of these tips and you will be THAT GUY or THAT GIRL, in a good way.