Remember the party scene in The Wolf Of Wall Street? Avoid re-creating it if you want to build your brand’s reputation. Don’t become the office party legend by being remembered as the “Drunken Director” or the “Flirty Finance Manager”. There’s a fine line between getting into the holiday cheer and getting carried away. It’s not uncommon to hear about employees losing their reputation at corporate events and with it their jobs too.
Remember, the word “company” is still in company party. You’re partying with your colleagues, not your college mates. Here are 22 Company Party Tips to increase your professional impact whilst still having a good time.
1. If you’re invited with a partner, don’t bring your “party animal” friend who will damage your reputation with their off-color jokes and drinking habits.
2. Attend at all costs. You might hate mingling with office staff after hours but its essential you attend the company party. It shows you as a team player.
3. Being fashionably late is not ok nor departing early – everyone remembers who stayed for just 10 minutes .
4. Make sure you adhere to the dress code – don’t arrive dressed business casual to a formal function. If you’re unsure of the dress code or its meaning (e.g. Formal Festive Flair) ask the organizer. This is not the place for the tight-fitting, low cut, micro short dress; silver shiny suit with the Christmas tree tie.
5. Remember everything in moderation from conversation to alcohol consumption.
6. If a buffet is being served don’t pile up your dish as if it’s your last meal.
7. Even if it’s to your +1 – don’t overshare, criticise or complain, you may be overheard; your comment can be taken out of context and become a rumor that spreads like wildfire.
8. Quickly switch topics if someone else begins to complain, gossip about others.
9. If name cards are at each place setting, don’t shift them around to sit next to your best buddy – they’ve been placed there for a reason.
10. “Open Bar” does not mean knocking back as many shooters as you possibly can. Don’t polish off the entire wine bottle even if no one else is drinking it at your table.
11. Don’t pressurise others to drink or ask why aren’t you drinking?
12. The best place to start your networking is where people exit the bar. Drinks in hand, they are ready to mingle and you’ve just rescued them from trying to find someone to talk to.
13. Don’t monopolise others time – specially VIP’s and high level managers who need to meet all the guests. At a 1 hour event you should meet at least 6-8 people.
14. If you want to project great presence you need to be present. Be in the now – put away your phone. Listen with purpose, and stop looking around to see who your next “target” is. This will make you look disinterested and unauthentic.
15. Be in the know-how of the latest company, industry news but don’t make your convesrsation all about work, it should be 50% business, 50% social.
16. If you are representing your company at an event you are not there to NetEat or NetDrink but to NetWork. to build relationships. Don’t make the mistake to start “selling” your product/services to a potential client. You are there to make the contacts not seal the contracts.
17. Don’t leave your reputation on the dance floor by showing off your “floss” or Magic Mike moves and leave the twerking to Miley!
18. You may have a secret crush on the new consultant – this is NOT the opportunity too flirt outrageously or be “too touchy”. Remember a sexual harassment claim won’t look good on your resume.
19. Don’t criticize someone’s outfit or complain about the awful food or décor to colleagues. Leave your company complaints, grievances, off-color jokes, and negativity at home. If you can’t stand the CFO – this is not the time to let everyone know.
20. Keep mints or breath fresheners on you so you can continue conversing after you have eaten the fish bites or garlic rolls.
21. When leaving – always thank the host/organizer and bid farewell to relevant management. Provide a sincere and specific compliment e.g. “I absolutely loved the sushi bar you displayed – the sushi chef was spectacular.”
22. Within 24 hours, send a thank you note/e-mail to the host/management for hosting the party.
The company party is a great opportunity to elevate your brand reputation socially and professionally. So brush up on these tips and share them with your colleagues!
Happy Festivities 🎉