The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to get ready for the annual DC office party. Holiday gatherings are not only a fun way to relax and get to know colleagues better, they’re also a great way to network with other entrepreneurs both in and outside your industry. Follow these tips to have an enjoyable, meaningful time at this year’s party and avoid becoming fodder for office gossip.
- Know the dress code. Your Christmas elf sweater will really stand out when everyone else is wearing sleek suits and little black dresses. Ask about acceptable attire beforehand, and make sure both you and your date are dressed appropriately. Keep it festive, yet professional.
- Don’t drink too much. Alcohol even in small quantities can loosen inhibitions and cause you to say or do things you’ll wish you hadn’t. Limit yourself to one drink, then stick to nonalcoholic beverages after that.
- Break the ice. Be prepared to engage in small talk with those you know, and be willing to strike up conversations with those you don’t. This is an ideal time to get to know unfamiliar coworkers on a personal level. Have some topics, questions or funny comments in mind beforehand if you aren’t naturally talkative.
- Participate. Karaoke? Christmas trivia? White elephant gift exchange? Whatever the activities planned, participating demonstrates that you’re a team player who is comfortable in a variety of situations.
- Gift tastefully. If your office hosts a gift exchange, be selective about the items you give. Avoid personal items such as clothing or perfume, as well as gag gifts that someone else might find offensive. When giving a gift to another coworker, but not all coworkers, do so privately and away from the office to avoid hurt feelings.
- It’s still work. No matter how festive, the holiday office party is still a work event and a great opportunity to network with key employees at the office. Mind your manners, act conservatively, thank sincerely and take the opportunity to make connections.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to gracefully navigate this year’s holiday celebration while having a genuinely enjoyable time. Leave a comment below and let us know what other tips to keep in mind when we’re at DC office parties! Happy holidays from Metro Offices!