How to Survive Work Christmas parties
Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, except when it comes to networking.
The term networking brings forth a feeling of dread, not unlike the sensation of being thrown through a glass ceiling or having to face your elderly relatives questioning your sexuality at the Christmas dinner table.
You have to approach people with little context and start a conversation that will, potentially, develop your career or business.
It’s nerve-wracking and possibly one of the worst things about the Christmas season at work. Everyone wears an ugly Christmas jumper, gets drunk at the office party and accidentally reveals a truth about themselves they would have rather kept secret. But networking is still a major taboo and horror for people that have been working in industries for one year of twenty.
So how do we get through the numerous Christmas parties? Well here are some top tips.
Bring business cards
If you have a card this can be really helpful to you, either as an introductory method or as a way of ending a conversation but still getting something out of it. It’s also a lot politer and more professional than getting your phone out mid-conversation to ask for someone’s Twitter handle or phone number.
Get there early
You think it would be better to arrive late and be inconspicuous but actually, it’s a lot easier to start conversations with people when there are only five or six of you in the room. Then, as the room gets busier, you always have someone you can approach for a chat (and possibly an introduction) because you’ve already spoken that evening.
Don’t get drunk
You may think that throwing back a few glasses of wine will help, especially since it’s a party, but you will have less control over what you’re saying and that be both embarrassing and catastrophic for your business. You could accidentally reveal some exciting news that has been announced yet, or you could start trashing your boss in a tiny industry. Sometimes just swearing is enough to alienate a new acquaintance. Keep the drinking to a minimum and if in doubt, gulp down a glass of water and eat a vol-au-vent.
You can do this! Networking is tough for everyone, so just have a go. The worst thing someone will do is ignore you and really, although horrible at the time, it’s them that look bad in the long run.