THE HOLIDAYS: THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR! IT'S THE SEASON FOR PRESENTS, HOT CHOCOLATE, ICE SKATING, SNOWMEN AND VARIOUS SEASONALLY-FLAVORED TREATS.
Although the holidays are a wonderful time, they can be a maze of tricky situations and varying expectations, especially with regards to the workplace. Here’s your handy list of holiday do’s and don’t’s that will help you navigate the season—and maybe even give your career a boost in the process!
Use holiday parties as an opportunity to network.
If you’re searching for a job, casually let people know what type of job you’re looking for. You never know whom a friend or family member knows—you may even be able to schedule an informational interview. If you already have a job, you can still use holiday parties as a time to meet new people; sometimes the best time to make new contacts is when you aren’t actively looking for a new job.
Send holiday cards.
Send holiday cards to friends, family, professors and former coworkers. Sending holiday cards is a great way to reconnect or let people know that you are thinking of them. It can be hard to stay in touch regularly, so use this as an opportunity to check in and start up the conversation.
Use office holiday parties as a way to connect.
It can be tempting to just talk to your friends at office holiday parties. Make an effort to branch out and talk to people who you don’t usually interact with—you see your friends every day! This is especially important if you are part of a large company. If you’ve only ever emailed someone, now is a good time to meet and forge a personal connection.
Talk about work.
No one wants to talk about the brief that’s due on Monday over a glass of mulled wine. Don’t talk about work. Get to know people on a more personal level.At one of my past jobs we had a catered “family lunch” every Friday. The only rule was that we couldn’t talk about work. As a result, we all learned more about one another. Save the work conversations for Monday.
Give extravagant gifts.
Your first move is to figure out if people in your office give gifts during the holiday season. In certain industries, giving gifts might be prohibited. Next, check your office handbook to see if there are any policies related to gift giving. I’d recommend keeping gifts under $25 or making homemade gifts.
This year I made gingerbread cookies to give to everyone in the office (we have a small team). Small homemade gifts are always a great option—they’re both thoughtful and tasteful.
Drink too much at holiday parties.
Keep it professional at your work holiday party. No one wants to be the person who embarrasses herself after having one too many glasses of mulled wine. I would recommend limiting the festivities to one or two drinks.
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And with that, you’re all set to navigate the season—happy holidays!
Photo: John Morgan