Love them or hate them, you can’t ignore them - Office holiday parties are here!
“Get ready for the Party on the 23rd of this month!” reads your email notification from the HR department. While your comrades seem to be a tad bit too excited about the invitation, you are busy thinking in your head, “Do I really have to be at this party?”
Well, you are among the 10 percent of the workforce that have no interest in spending their free time with a bunch of people who already occupy basically all of their waking hours, all year around. Besides, the work pressures of the modern world often take a toll on our personal life, and most employees would prefer spending their spare time with people they truly care about.
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So, whatever your reasons may be - ranging from not being a social animal to stealing a quiet day off work and planning a small vacation around that time of year - here’s what you should know about your upcoming office Christmas party. To begin with, it could be a really good move for your career.
Officially Optional, Unofficially Mandatory
Even though you are not obliged to attend the party, the moment you utter the words, “I might not be able to make it,” you might be seen as someone who “isn’t a team player”. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking of company parties as an optional treat, but the reality is that your managers or leaders take note of the attendance and penalise the ones who don’t show up. While penalising may not be everyone's preference, all managers do care on some level, and that can negatively impact your position in the company in the coming months. Hence, it is wise to assume company parties as professional obligations. At this point, it is all about coping and going with the flow.
Try looking at it in a different light
An open bar, Christmas party stories, getting to know “The Influential” lot and, most importantly, increasing your visibility among people that matter to your career are just a few perks of attending office parties. Need we say more? So, dry your hair, don your Armani and hitch a ride to the venue! Trust me, it’s not going to be as boring as it seems. Plus, all the other employees are sailing the same “social awkwardness” boat as you. This party has the potential to unwrap some great opportunities for you in the near future.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston S. Churchill
You might have fun too
C’mon, it’s not like you will be surrounded by a bunch of strangers or have to make special efforts to even strike a normal conversation. The best part of office parties is that you already know almost everyone, and that you are an important part of the whole setting. Be prepared to enjoy yourself and you might be surprised to find that you actually do. If you sit on the sidelines, you'll be making the whole activity redundant, a complete waste of time. Fine tune your small talk and head to the bar.
If you're still dreading going, keep in mind that you don't really need to stay the whole night. You can show up, spend an hour or two at the venue, and then leave.