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Let the holiday parties begin

I lost count of the number of various holiday-related events that I have been invited to so far this month.

You’ve got office holiday parties, holiday parties thrown by organizations that you are involved with, bar association holiday parties, local holiday events, community holiday parties, kids’ holiday parties and holiday parties thrown by friends, just to name some of the many options. Of course, there are also family obligations and preparation for the holidays themselves.

Suffice it to say, it is a busy time of year.

But with so much going on, it is easy to forget that these holiday parties — at least those of the professional variety — are more than just fun and games. They are prime networking, marketing, and bonding opportunities.

I think the best advice is to pick the holiday events you attend carefully and to think even more carefully about what you do at the event. What to wear, who to bring, who to talk with, who to avoid and how much to eat/drink should all be accounted for in your strategy.

Unfortunately, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all rule of thumb. Just use common sense. Don’t let yourself do anything that you will regret the next morning. Or that may end up on YouTube.

Actually, try to do at least one thing that you will be grateful that you did — whether that is introducing yourself to someone who you don’t normally interact with, going out of your way to be nice to someone or stopping yourself before that sixth (or 16th) delicious holiday-themed hors d’oeuvre.

I will leave you with some interesting and entertaining thoughts of others:  One site provides guidelines (and even a chart) on how to appropriately “mix work relationships with holiday merriment” premised on the theory that the optimal balance depends on your position, the event itself and those you are with. Another writer suggests that the beverage in your hand impacts what image you project.  Others provide tips and even a video.

Happy holidays!

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