The office Christmas party should be part of your networking strategy. Find out how.

Christmas partyAs you read the title of this article, you might be feeling either a sense of dread at the thought of the office Christmas party or a bit of excitement.

It really depends what type of person you are and how you feel about your job, the office culture and others at work.

You might also be wondering about the combination of Christmas party and networking strategy. It is, however, often a good opportunity even if you’re not a frequent networker.

I often help my clients make the most of the festive season’s networking opportunities. So, here are five reasons why the Christmas party is valuable:

  1. It’s an opportunity to get to know the colleagues you work with day-to-day better. Relationships that are based on more than work functionality are more rewarding and make challenges easier to navigate when they come.
  2. It’s an opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t usually speak to which as well as being a positive experience in itself may mean you learn useful new information about your organisation.
  3. It will help you be seen as someone who is interested in your colleagues and being part of the team.
  4. It can be an opportunity to meet more senior people who can otherwise be difficult to engage with. Exposure is essential for career success, read why here.
  5. If you have been thinking you would like a role change, this can be a great way to find out what might be possible and even identify specific opportunities that are coming up.

Even if you just go for part of the party, it’s better than nothing; you’ll be seen and meet people anyway. If you want more detail on how to network effectively at events, then read my comprehensive guide here.

Otherwise, here are my top reminders for networking at the Christmas party:

  1. Being positively memorable counts internally too, so think about this, especially if you like a drink or five.
  2. Think carefully about which groups to join, watch body language carefully. For example, you don’t want to interrupt a confidential conversation; you won’t be welcome.
  3. Be interested in others, make sure they feel you are listening and engaged with what they have to say.
  4. Be careful about what office gossip you get pulled into. It can seem harmless and even relationship building at the time but can be extremely damaging.
  5. Consider which new relationships you want to build further in the New Year. Is there someone you could mentor? Someone who could mentor you? A potential future sponsor?

This Christmas, don’t just dismiss the office Christmas party as frivolous fun or a necessary evil; use it to help you and your career progression! Merry Christmas!

If you’re struggling with networking or need to increase your skills, then sign up for my Nine Neglected Skills for career success emails and Booklet. Packed full of information, advice and actions for you to take, it’ll help you improve your ‘other’ skills significantly.

Joanna GaudoinAbout the author

Joanna Gaudoin, Inside Out Image specialises in helping ambitious professionals and their organisations improve performance and achieve their goals.

She does this by helping them master and strategically use the business skills of Personal Impact and Relationship Management. These skills are required for professional success.

Before establishing Inside Out Image, Joanna worked in marketing and consultancy in large corporates. She understands the business world and its challenges. She now helps organisations and individuals understand how to succeed in it.

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