Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Holiday party etiquette

If holiday office parties seem like minefields, experts say you should go anyway. You can show you are part of the team. Besides, your absence could be noticed.

You can make the most of an event by using it to network. Yahoo Hot Jobs! offers these tips.

Mix and mingle. This may be the one time when higher-ups see your social skills. You can show you're good with people and confident in social situations, which is important for customer service and likely a critical skill in your job

Keep it light. It's OK to talk about your team's accomplishments, but it is a no-no and boring to brag about your own. Also, don't monopolize conversation with a complex dissertation on a topic known mostly to you, filled with tech-talk. Have a list of "small talk" topics in mind for conversation starters. Networking experts say not to spend more than seven minutes talking to someone.

Have an exit strategy. You don't have to stay the whole time, but don’t make a quick exit either. Knowing when to politely excuse yourself from a conversation and when to leave a party are critical party-going skills.

Be courteous. Thanking the party planner or party giver is always a good move.
And while office parties and other festivities may be common this time of year, so is an abundance of year-end projects. Some 70 percent of professionals surveyed by Accountemps, a financial staffing service, said their workloads either increase or stay the same during the holidays.

The advice on this is to plan with your team for holiday coverage and each individual’s role so year-end projects can be handled.

My advice is to do what you need to get the stuff done and have time with friends and family this season. My wish for you is the best of times and a Happy New Year!

Posted by Judith Welles on Dec 18, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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