My wife and I got dressed up and attended my company’s Christmas party this past weekend. The party has traditionally been a lot of fun and it was this year too. You get dressed up, enjoy great food, drinks and a nice picture in front of the Christmas tree. :)
I know a lot of people dread the company holiday party and would rather be at home, or doing other things they enjoy. I can understand. Actually, we thought about skipping out. After all, we had a baby sitter scheduled and could enjoy a quiet date night.
US News recently published a piece that shared reasons why going to the company Christmas party might actually be a good idea and smart for your career:
No matter how unenthusiastic you may be, going to your office holiday party is a good career move. Even if you’d much rather stay home and watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the 11th time, the office holiday party can be important to your career and pay off…
Perception – Not attending could result in a negative perception. Be careful as some people might be consciously or unconsciously keeping track of who attends and doesn’t. Personally, I think this is silly, but there is some truth to it. I would let my manager know if I can’t attend for some reason, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to just not show all together. After all the company is making an investment in their employees by holding the party. Not showing, might leave the impression you don’t care, or you’re not a team player.
Making Contacts – Company parties can provide a great way to establish contact and meet people you don’t know. This is especially true when it comes to meeting people outside of your department. You might meet someone that doesn’t work directly with you, but can help you on a project or in some other way in the future. My advice: get to know the people in IT!
Increased Visibility - Management will certainly be present at the party and it might be a good time to get introduced to those you haven’t spoken with before. This increases your visibility in the company, especially if you have a conversation with them. It’s much easier to say hello at work next time if you met and spoke to them at the party away from work. Obviously, don’t increase your visibility in a negative way by being that person who has too much to drink.
It Can be Fun – Finally, don’t forget the party can be fun to attend. I’m glad we chose to attend this year and continue to make it part of our holiday plans. The Christmas atmosphere is fun and it provides the opportunity to have a night out with my wife. And it’s also an opportunity to have fun with people outside of the office and talk about other things than business.
If a Christmas party really isn’t your thing, I still recommend attending. Set a time limit you’ll be there and take the opportunity to say hello to your manager and other people you work with. You don’t have to stay for the entire party and can quietly leave later.
Will you attend your company Christmas party this year?