From accepting your office holiday party invitation to making the most of your connections, the holidays offer amazing opportunities for professional networking.
It’s the holiday season, which should mean lots of fun, joy, laughter, and office holiday parties right around the corner. Yet, a survey by human resources software provider TriNet found that a large majority of employees would happily trade their employer’s holiday party for other perks, like cash bonuses or extra personal time off. If you fall into this category, you might consider taking a different perspective and utilizing holiday gatherings as a way to network with co-workers, especially those you don’t know all that well. Plus, if you play your cards right, holiday parties could help advance your career. To get you into the spirit, here are some networking tips to make the most out of your office holiday party.
Accept the invitation
You’ve probably heard about the power of saying yes. In this situation, it rings true. When you get invited to a holiday gathering, whether it’s a department happy hour, the company holiday party, or even dinner at your spouse’s boss’s place, just go for it.
Your brain might immediately think about all of the reasons why you don’t want to do it, but stop and think about the good possibilities. The best way to find new connections — and strengthen your current ones — is to get out and spend time with them in an informal setting. Saying yes is just the first step.
Be prepared with a game plan
Once you let it sink in that your company holiday party could be a great way to network and advance your career, give some thought as to your plan of action.
- Will you take a date?
- Who will you attempt to speak to?
- How many business cards will you take?
- How will you take notes discretely if you desire to do so?
Don’t fret — all of these questions are addressed in the following tips.