An Annual Ritual: The Company Holiday Party

December 18, 2009 by
Filed under: Networking 

HolidayParty1 300x227 An Annual Ritual: The Company Holiday PartyToday I went to an annual rit­ual enjoyed by many in the cor­po­rate world.  Today was my company’s annual hol­i­day party. Com­plete with raf­fles, cash bar and plenty of food, the atmos­phere was ripe for min­gling between col­leagues.  What I per­son­ally never fail to notice is how many peo­ple come to such par­ties and then basi­cally sit by them­selves with maybe one other col­league. At a sim­i­lar com­pany party many years ago, I asked one of my then col­leagues, who told me he pre­ferred sit­ting by him­self most of the time, why come to the event then?  His answer was, “To be seen.” He wanted oth­ers, espe­cially upper man­age­ment, to see that he was a team player and that he goes out of his way to be at the com­pany party. I couldn’t help but be a lit­tle sur­prised and puz­zled by his rational!

That answer stuck with me for a while because here was some­one who I respected as a col­league. He was smart in his work and always got the job he was respon­si­ble for done. But at the same time I couldn’t help but won­der really as to why even come to the com­pany party if you’re not going to, at the very least, mingle.

One of the biggest ben­e­fits of going to com­pany hol­i­day par­ties is that it gives peo­ple the great oppor­tu­nity to have face to face time with com­pany per­son­nel at all lev­els. There is no other place that a per­son can have such an oppor­tu­nity within the com­pany all at one loca­tion. Today I was able to find peo­ple who I used to work with a cou­ple of years ago and quickly catch up. It was also nice to run into peo­ple I usu­ally con­verse with via email or phone call and have a face to face con­ver­sa­tion. But one of my favorite things to do at com­pany par­ties (in addi­tion to what I just men­tioned) is intro­duce peo­ple I know to other peo­ple that I know. I’ve been asked why do this if they don’t nec­es­sar­ily work with each other? The rea­son is to help place a name with a face.  This has pro­vided the peo­ple I’ve intro­duced with infor­ma­tion they can use at a later time if it turns out that one of them actu­ally needs some­thing from the depart­ment the other per­son works in. There have been plenty of times when I’ve needed to find out some­thing or get some­thing done where a per­son I was intro­duced to ear­lier was able to help me out. If I hadn’t met that per­son ear­lier, via an intro­duc­tion from some­one else, I may not have been able to get some things done in as timely a man­ner as they were done. Another, big advan­tage of attend­ing com­pany par­ties, such as the annual hol­i­day party, is that you get the oppor­tu­nity to meet your boss’s, boss’s , boss. Believe it or not, the exec­u­tive a cou­ple of tables over from where you’re sit­ting is there so that she can meet the peo­ple who are on her team and get to know them.

So if you do in fact go to your company’s hol­i­day party this year, or any other com­pany get together that would occur after work, don’t just be seen!  Get out there and enjoy the oppor­tu­nity to meet face to face with your col­leagues of all lev­els. Chances are they’ll appre­ci­ate you com­ing over and hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with them. If you’re look­ing to move up in the com­pany, the abil­ity to talk with oth­ers at a com­pany party will give a bet­ter impres­sion than if you sim­ply sat at a table and spoke only to the same per­son for the entire time!

What do you do at com­pany hol­i­day parties?

Comments

2 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours on An Annual Ritual: The Company Holiday Party

  1. Susan Kishner on Fri, 18th Dec 2009 9:54 pm
  2. I found your site on tech­no­rati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Look­ing for­ward to read­ing more from you down the road!

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Gil Pizano on Wed, 30th Dec 2009 10:08 pm
  4. Thanks Susan! Glad you’re enjoy­ing the articles!

    Have a great 2010!

    –Gil

    Like or Dis­like: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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