Four Ways to Get More Than Fun from Your Holiday Business Parties
It’s that time of year again, the party season. You probably have an office party and a couple other business-related celebrations on your calendar. You should definitely go to have a good time. But since you’ll be in close contact with people who might be—or could be—important to your career, you have good reason not to overlook the career value of these social functions, It’s time to network and build relationships that could bring you joy the whole year through. Here are a few tips to help make that happen.
Tip #1: Be prepared.
Take the time to learn who will be attending. You can Google them or check LinkedIn to find out a little about them. Make a mental note of people you particularly want to meet and be prepared with topics of discussion that might interest them. Lead with questions and make sure you listen more than you talk.
Tip #2: Open the opportunity for future contact.
A party is no place to set up a formal meeting, but it is appropriate to say “I’ll give you a call” or “Let’s get together sometime” to talk more about whatever your shared interest is. If you’re intriguing, it will seem very natural.
Tip #3: Don’t be the guy with the embarrassing Facebook pictures.
Whatever you do, mind your alcohol intake. Set a limit and live by it. If you end up in Facebook shirtless, with straws up your nose, all your good networking preparation will probably have gone for naught. On a related topic: don’t force drinks on others, either. You don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s overindulgence.
Tip #4: Don’t be a salesperson.
Relax, it’s a party. No one wants to hear your elevator pitch. No one wants to be sold to. If you network well, there will be plenty of time for that later, when it’s more appropriate. If you meet people, leave a good impression, and make sure everyone has a good time, your mission will have been a success.