Office Party: Career Catapult or Career Killer?
<p><strong>New York — Nov. 13</strong><br />The festive landscape has changed over the years, and it presents some new challenges to even the most seasoned partygoer. “It is still advisable to curb your drinking and hold the glass in your left hand,” said WallStJobs.com founder Robert Graber, “but you should also remember to mute your BlackBerry and iPhone as well.”<br /><br />Graber suggested thinking of the holiday party as a networking event but with better food and a more focused guest list. <br /><br />“Make it a point to introduce yourself to people in your company you would like to get to know better and engage in some light conversation. Don’t use the moment to discuss complex corporate strategy, but you might mention how you have enjoyed your role in the firm and your excitement about the coming year,” said Graber. “Don’t spend a lot of time with any one person. Politely excuse yourself after a few minutes with best wishes for the holidays and move on.”<br /><br />Graber had some other holiday party advice:<br />• Hold your drink in your left hand. (Your right hand stays dry and warm for handshakes.)<br />• Don’t eat salty foods, which may make you drink more, and avoid messy, saucy offerings, which are hard to handle.<br />• Don’t be the first to arrive, and don’t be the last to go.<br />• Dress conservatively. Less is not more at an office event.<br />• Speak positively at all times. Don’t bad-mouth anyone or anything, as you never know who might be listening. (Remember this advice in the elevator, in the coat check line and in the restroom.)<br />• No texting or e-mailing during a party.<br />• Thank your host before leaving.<br /><br />“When handled correctly, holiday parties are wonderful opportunities to get to know your associates and management in a festive environment,” said Graber. “Balance your talking time with listening time to avoid coming across as pushy.”<br /><br />And finally, Graber strongly advised even the most Scrooge-like individual not to skip the event. “You will likely be more noticed negatively by not attending.” </p>