Christmas party at work? Just go
A social gathering is the perfect time to make merry and build relationships in a, non-competitive setting
As a professional† with work commitments and almost impossible deadlines, one would rather spend the vacation in the company of family and loved ones.
The last thing on your mind will be to attend an office party. As grating as it may sound, relationship building is key to climbing the ladder of success. If there's a Christmas party hosted at your office, my suggestion would be - just go!
Why? Because it's the perfect time to make merry, and build relationships in a non-threatening, non-competitive social setting. An opportunity like this needs to be grabbed, because it enables you to project yourself in a positive manner.
Occasions like Christmas and New Year parties are perfect opportunities to rub shoulders with the upper hierarchy of the organisation in a social setting. The key, however, is to understand the expectations of social behaviour in a workplace.
Socialising: Drink and eat in moderation. The thumb-rule always is to not make a 'spectacle' of oneself.
Attire: Dress appropriately in elegant evening wear. Ladies† could opt for a knee-length dress with subtle makeup and jewellery. Dresses should not be too short around the business/social environment.
Men should opt for a classy semi-formal jacket. Not-too-casual should be the key.
Host and guest rule: If you are invited to someone's home, carry a token of appreciation. Be on time, being fashionably late is passť. Don't show up in work clothes. Making an effort to look appropriate shows that you respect the host.
If you are hosting, avoid inviting too many people. You should be able to pay attention to each of your guests. You should also make sure that the party is well organised. Guests feel uncomfortable if the host is under pressure.
Conversation skills: Avoid work talk.† Steer clear from politics, finance and gossip.
Introduction: Learn to be comfortable while introducing yourself to a new person. The host cannot always be around to do the introductions. It's difficult to look after a wallflower, so do it yourself. Remember it's always - "Hello, first and last name", and not "Hi, I am first name" in any social or business gathering.
Practise humility: Be sure to thank the host or those who coordinated the party.† Show how much you enjoyed the gathering and how you appreciate the efforts behind it.
Don't call in sick: Just because the HR told you attending the party is complusory doesn't mean you call in sick the next day. Remember your personal branding is important.
Konkana Bakshi is Founder, Savoir Faire Academie and former Miss Elegance World