The holiday season brings joy, festivities, and the much-anticipated corporate Christmas parties. While these events are an excellent opportunity to celebrate the year’s achievements and mingle with colleagues, they also offer a unique chance for networking and professional growth.

However, to make the most of these gatherings, professionals need to navigate them with finesse, keeping in mind the do’s and don’ts that can shape their reputation and open doors to sparkly new opportunities.

Some of our Do’s for Events

Dress Appropriately

Begin with a positive first impression by dressing appropriately for the occasion. While it’s a festive event, remember it’s still a corporate setting, so opt for festive yet professional attire. (You don’t want to be the one sticking out like a sexy santa in the event gallery!)

Introducing Yourself

Before the event, develop a brief and engaging introduction statement that encapsulates your professional background, key skills, and career goals. Aim for clarity and impact in just a few sentences.

This will serve as a quick and memorable way to present yourself (without the formal structure of a traditional elevator pitch). Practice saying it with confidence to make a strong impression in any networking scenario.

Initiate Conversations

Take the initiative to approach others. Whether it’s a senior executive or a colleague from a different department, initiating conversations shows confidence and genuine interest in building professional relationships.

Making Connections

If relevant, ensure you have a few updated business cards to share with potential connections. This simple yet effective tool can facilitate follow-ups and make it easier for others to remember you. Make use of LinkedIn and connect professionally with any contacts there. Mention the event you were both attending in the note when sending the connection request to them.

Show Appreciation

Take a moment to thank others for the year’s successes and collaborations. A positive attitude and support for your colleagues all contribute to an uplifting atmosphere.

And some of our Don’ts…

Overindulge in Alcohol

While it’s tempting to enjoy the open bar, remember this is a professional setting. Limit alcohol consumption to maintain composure and avoid any embarrassing situations. Plus it will make all the difference when waking up the morning after! (Alka seltzer anyone?).

If your office party is on a week-day then this is obviously important too. Being hungover at work is not fun, and phoning in ill will leave a bad impression at the least.

Stay Glued to Your Phone

Constantly checking your phone during a networking event can give the impression that you’re disengaged or uninterested. Keep your phone usage to a minimum and focus on building in-person connections.

If you post on social media, be mindful about posting photos of colleagues and so forth. This could cause problems and damage relationships.

Discuss Work Complaints Excessively

While it’s natural to share experiences, avoid turning the festive atmosphere into a platform for work-related complaints. Keep conversations positive and focus on the celebratory aspect of the event.

Forget to Follow Up

If you exchange contact information or business cards, don’t forget to follow up. Send a brief, personalised email expressing your pleasure in meeting and reiterating your interest in future collaborations or follow up on LinkedIn.

Isolate Yourself

Resist the temptation to stay within your comfort zone. Make an effort to engage with colleagues outside your immediate circle. Expanding your network within the company can lead to unforeseen opportunities.

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Anne Hanna ‐ December 5, 2023