I'm pretty tired of hearing about all the things I shouldn't do at a holiday office party such as drink and make a fool of myself. But my friend, Colin D'Arcy of ImageMentor.com, has some great suggestions for things I should do. He says a holiday office party can present an opportunity to build your career and get ahead. Some people even use holiday parties for serious strategic networking.
If you decide to use the party as a career builder, here are some of Colin's suggestions:
§ Meet people from other departments or functions. Start to build bridges across those “silos” that naturally develop at work.
§ Get to know your boss better. Spend time chatting about topics that might not normally come up during daily activities.
§ Make contact with top executives who are usually inaccessible. High-level managers are often uncomfortable at employee parties because they don’t know what to say, so try to put them at ease. Be prepared with a question to ask or topic to discuss.
§ Learn more about the business. Talk with people outside your everyday circle and ask questions to better understand their work.
§ Present ideas and proposals. Take the opportunity to offer suggestions to the people who could approve or implement them.
§ Build better relationships with colleagues. Learn more about them as people, not just coworkers. Friendly feelings can help to defuse future disagreements.