You might think an office party is time to let your hair down. Think again. Here's some advice to make a holiday party work for your career.
It is a time to get noticed, but make sure it's the right kind of notice. This year, have a game plan to take advantage of this time with colleagues and managers in a relaxed setting, says Vicki Salemi, author of Big Career in the Big City. "An office party is a great way to put in face time with leadership," she notes. So venture away from your clique-network and have fun. Stuck in a dead-end conversation? Say you see someone you recognize and want to say hello, Salemi suggests, adding, "This is an opportunity to spread your wings."
- Be prepared to network. Know something about other departments or recent promotions or awards so you can compliment others.
- Keep your business cards handy in a pocket so you can easily give your contacts to someone from another department when asked.
- Hold your glass in your left hand so you can shake hands with your right. No one wants to shake a cold hand that's been wrapped around a wet icy drink.
- Keep the conversation light but smart.
- After the party, follow up with new contacts. Send a pleasant email a day or so later to say how you enjoyed your conversation and wish them a Happy New Year!
Finally, be merry and mingle!
Read more career advice at workingmother.com