Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Company Holiday Parties
December is the time to drink and be merry, right? Well, not always. Have you ever heard the phrase, "read the room"? That really does apply when it comes to Company Holiday Parties. I've worked for various companies over the years and been to a variety of holiday parties that all called for a different mood and vibe, so my #1 recommendation for company holiday party behavior is READ THE ROOM.
Reading the Room 101
I've been to holiday parties that were an all-out party, people drinking, gambling, doing whatever and being as loud as they could. I've been to holiday parties in ballrooms at some of the nicest hotels, with chocolate fountains and ice sculptures. I've been to holiday parties at breweries, wineries and even one at a comedy club. The first thing to do when reading a room is take note of the setting...
Whoever planned the party likely already knew the company culture well enough to choose a venue that would be appreciated by most of the staff. Higher-end ballroom parties likely mean you can put on a smile, enjoy a drink or two and maybe win some big ticket items in the raffle. Holiday parties at breweries and wineries can mean the employees are maybe laid back and enjoy to just let loose a bit.
Next, look out for 2 people. The boss-man and the most obviously loud, possibly drunk person in the room. If you want to go unnoticed, stay somewhere in the middle. If you don't care how noticed you are, just be whatever you want to be...
Why not just be whatever I'm feeling?
I'm usually the type of person that says you should just be you, no matter what. Generally speaking I totally believe this, but you don't always have only yourself to consider. You might be someone's date to said holiday party. Maybe you're up for a promotion or your job is on the chopping block. Big investors could be in town for the party. Honestly, the list is endless...
If you want to just be whatever you're feeling, go for it! Just keep in mind the potential consequences for you and/or whoever may have brought you to their company holiday party.
It's ONE Night
After all, it's just one night. There are a myriad of other days and events throughout the year where your job or someone you love's job isn't a factor, so just get through this night. If you are part of a company culture that really doesn't care and just enjoys some good fun, enjoy it! There is absolutely no reason you should act like you have a stick up your butt for one night, if everyone else is having the time of their lives just because you want to act "professional". And remember, there is always a way to have fun and make these events fun, no matter what the mood or vibe.