The office holiday party is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, deepen relationships, thank folks personally, and have fun! But some behaviors—like having one too many drinks—can turn an office party into a career-limiting event.
Here are 5 tips to help you use the office party to make a good impression, show off your sparkling personality, and maybe even give your career a boost!
1. Dress up – but keep it professional.
Clothes make a strong visual statement about how you see yourself. By all means, dress in party fare when attending the holiday office gathering—just remember, you're not on a date or out dancing with friends. A work-related social event is just as important as any other business function, so dress to impress!
2. Practice your party intro.
The way you greet your fellow party-goers can have a huge impact on their perception of you. The best office party introductions combine business information with a personal twist. An example would be:
“Hi, I’m Stacy from the PR department. I’ve been with XYZ for just a few months, and this is the first social event I’ve attended. It’s so nice to meet co-workers face-to-face.”
3. Let your body show that you are at ease.
If you want people to see you as comfortable and approachable, don't cross your arms and legs or use objects—your drink or plate of food—as a barrier. Instead, stand tall and assume a comfortable position with your legs about shoulder width apart and your arms loosely at your side. Smile to show you are friendly and open.
4. Shake hands—but don't go overboard.
A warm, but firm, handshake is a business skill worth developing and a light touch on the arm or shoulder can create an instant bond. But if you hang on people or touch them too frequently, you send unintended signals of neediness or flirtation.
5. Pretend you’re the hostess.
We seldom remember what people we meet at social events have to say–but we are deeply impressed by how they make us feel. So pretend that you are the party’s hostess, and that your job is to make others feel welcome and at ease. Approaching co-workers with this attitude will immediately resonate in a positive way. Then get people talking by asking about their jobs, hobbies, and interests. Remember to make eye contact as others are speaking, it lets people know you are paying attention to what they say—and it makes them feel special.
With these five simple tips, you'll be sure that your co-workers—and maybe even your boss—see you at your charming and gracious best.