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November 22, 2010

Party Hardly?

It was the mid-1990s, and I had one of my first "real jobs," at a large publishing company--I'd been at the company only a couple of months before the annual holiday party rolled around. I was anxious to make a good impression and was drinking only cranberry juice mixed with sparkling water (a "mocktail"--very helpful for professional social events where drinks are served and you don't want to stand out as the only person having water).

Nonetheless, about an hour into the evening, just as the party was getting into full swing, I tripped on some bunched-up carpet at the edge of the dance floor and fell flat on my face--sending my drink (and my glasses) flying--in full view of everyone.

For the rest of my time at that company, whenever there was a workplace social event, my coworkers would josh me--"Watch out! Steady on your feet! How many have you had tonight?!"

Workplace holiday parties have made me a little bit nervous ever since.

And I'm not alone. For last week's Monster+HotJobs poll, we asked, "How do you feel about workplace holiday parties?"--and 11 percent of the more than 3,500 respondents replied, "Bah, Humbug!"

Here are the complete results:

    • I love them: Break out the eggnog! 22%
    • I like them: They're usually enjoyable. 35%
    • I tolerate them: I go only to network. 12%
    • I dislike them: I attend only if forced. 19%
    • I hate them: Bah humbug! 11%

Of course, a lot probably depends on where you work--some companies are more fun than others! But I think some good advice about workplace holiday parties is that, in many respects, you're still "on the clock." You'll usually want to maintain a more professional demeanor than you would at a purely social event.

Another tip: Take advantage of holiday parties to network (don't hang out by the buffet table with your usual cohorts). Come prepared with some conversational topics you can use with top brass or coworkers you don't know very well.

And watch your step!

For more tips, check out "Office Holiday Party Etiquette." And share your workplace-holiday-party tips (and horror stories) in the comments section.


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Posted by Charles Purdy on November 22, 2010 at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Oh Charles,

I feel your pain! I almost tripped and fell backwards at a client's very posh holiday party a few years ago. It wouldn't have been a good thing. So, in addition to all the other advice you'll read about holiday parties, watch where you're going!

And remember, the office party is a fantastic place to network and build your career. Research shows...well, read it here if you're interested: http://j.mp/ac9KdH.

Donna

Donna

Posted by: Donna Svei aka AvidCareerist | Nov 22, 2010 6:31:19 PM

Thanks, Donna--and thanks for the networking tips.

Posted by: Charles Purdy | Nov 22, 2010 6:37:28 PM

Great Post!
John..

Posted by: John Papers | Dec 20, 2010 2:48:55 AM

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