Do I go to the office party?

2008

Every year your office probably holds some kind of holiday event. Whether it's a formal evening-wear Christmas party at a local restaurant or just an in-office potluck lunch, just about every company does something. The question for most employees is whether or not they actually want to attend.

Well, according to this piece on Families.com, declining to attend can actually hurt your career.

According to a survey author Michele Cheplic cites in the article, only around half of employees attend the office Christmas party. The reason they give is that they don't feel comfortable while at the party. Others suggested that the last thing they'd really want to do is spend more time with people they work with when they could be home with their family.

Cheplic writes, "you may want to consider this: research done by an outplacement consulting organization suggests that if you get an invitation to a company holiday party, you might be doing your career a favor by accepting it. Research shows people who know how to 'work the party room' help boost their career potential by illustrating to their bosses that they are well-rounded individuals."

The office party is also a great time to actually meet face-to-face with management in a casual setting. Getting yourself in front of the right people by using the office holiday party can help advance you up that corporate ladder.

So, when you are sitting in your cubicle or office and wondering if you should accept the invitation to the most recent office holiday celebration consider that it could affect your career more than you think. Is it a chance to shine or is the fear of making a mistake going to prevent you from networking with the right people?

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Older Comments

I do see were you are coming from. I work for a small company and there is no career here. There are 3 women in the office. We asked to have the day after Christmas off. The owner came back and said the day after Christmas will be a regular work day. We are not very happy about this because we all know it will be dead. So now no one wants to attend the up coming Christmas party.

Tammy

Thirty years ago, my workplace mentor suggested that all office functions, all off them, are 'work' and to conduct myself accordingly. Build relationships, create relationships, communicate honestly and sincerely, don't drink or if you do make it 2% alcohol and 98% mixer of some kind and no more than two of those, and be self-aware and self-responsisble all the time. That advice served me well.

I never forgot that advice and still follow it to this day. Over the years, I've seen careers derail, relationships implode and individuals suffer because they saw workplace events as more 'social' than 'business' and weren't conscious enough to be able or willing to exert appropriate and proper self-management and self-responsible behaviors.

peter vajda Atlanta, GA