Behind the scenes on Christmas Eve at the workplace
It’s Christmas Eve and things appear to be winding down at the office. The Christmas jumpers are out, Michael Buble is belting out his annual festive medley and everyone seems in good spirits. The countdown for Christmas drinks is on!
With all the excitement and festivities, it may not feel very much like work but this is actually a great time to make sure you get ahead for the following year. You can use this time to make key contacts, create a great impression and sow some seeds for your potential promotion within the company.
This is a perfect opportunity to get to know your colleagues in a relaxed environment. It’s likely to be very different from the usual office atmosphere and this means you can get to know people on a more personal level when up until now, you may have had a purely professional relationship. There’s nothing like office karaoke, to break the ice.
Get chatting to your boss or someone senior managers with influence in the company, which you wouldn’t otherwise get to speak to. Get yourself noticed for all the right reasons and you can continue building on this relationship, when you get back in January. If you’re after a possible promotion, a move to a different department or inclusion in a project, lay the foundations and make a good impression. Networking isn’t about asking for things straight out, it’s about building relationships and when everyone is in high spirits, it is going to be much easier to do this than in a formal setting.
Keep it casual, but not too casual
Remember, this isn’t a networking meeting, so don’t get too work heavy. Yes, you’re still at work but people are winding down and don’t want to be thinking about serious, formal subjects and matters. Use this time of year to build relationships and make good contacts but save the serious stuff for when you come back in January.
However, be careful not to let your guard down too much. It’s easy to feel relaxed and reveal things about yourself when you’re in a social atmosphere, so be sure you don’t give away anything that will come back to bite you later on. You want to make a good impression, so be careful not to undo your good work by saying something silly, acting inappropriately, using foul language or gossiping about other colleagues.
Have fun but stay professional
With your January goals in mind, it’s really important to remember that you want to be fun and friendly but also remain professional. You want to be remembered for all the right reasons, so it’s important that you remain in control. Be merry but don’t drink too much. You have to work with these people next year, so don’t do anything crazy.
Have fun, make friends and follow up later. How serious can you be in a Rudolf jumper anyway?
Nikki Vivian, Freelancer, Employability Advisor & regular contributor for WorkAlpha