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Several times during the year, your organization is likely to hold social events involving employees and their partners, spouses and other family members. While these occasions are being held to enable the organization to show its appreciation to everyone, there is more to your attendance than just having fun.
Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Attend these events in an affable, friendly, positive frame of mind even if you would rather be a million miles away. Arrive at the beginning of the event.
- Think of such functions as an informal opportunity to build relationships with individuals who may be of assistance to your career, including those in other departments and locations. Find out beforehand who is attending and identify those people you should meet.
- After you say hello to your immediate work colleagues, make an effort to circulate around the venue and introduce yourself to other people. Definitely chat with your supervisor and his or her partner. And, if you have an opportunity to do so, introduce yourself and your partner to the head of the organization if he or she is there.
- Keep your conversation focused on social and appropriate personal matters. Do your homework ahead of time to identify the principal non-work passions and outside interests of those individuals you will be meeting. Also, ask about their children if it appears appropriate to do so.
- Restrict your business comments to thanking people for their past support, including those at lower levels of the organization. Try to avoid getting involved in discussing business matters with anyone. Say, “Let’s discuss this next week at work.”
- Pay special attention to greeting any outsiders who have been invited to attend, especially customers and suppliers, even if you do not deal directly with them yourself.
- Do not share gossip or talk about office politics. If someone else tries to do so, politely change the subject.
- Observe good manners. Enjoy yourself but do not get carried away. Conduct yourself in a way that will boost your image and reputation within the organization, not lower it.
- Limit the amount of alcohol of any type that you and your partner drink. Switch to water or soft drinks halfway through the event. Nothing looks worse than someone who has had too much to drink.
- Leave before the end of the event after you have thanked the people who worked hard to organize it. Never be one of the last to leave unless you are offering to help clean up.
Remember that your conduct at these functions may favorably influence your chances of promotion in the eyes of your supervisor and other senior members of the organization.