The daily grind in the office – racing to the next meeting and working your face off to nail the project. It’s a sweet relief hanging with co-worker’s for a quick chat. The company’s dinner party creeps into the conversation, and you’re suddenly questioned about the wardrobe and behavior conundrum. Company parties can feel like a Napoleon Dynamite school dance or a Napoleon Dynamite performance. (Know the difference).
1. Slashing Ambiguity.
Your first company party will be a bit ambiguous since the setting from office to venue shifts. Unfortunately, the switch-up throws little information you already know out the window…an airplane window. It’s fine, you’ll survive. Recently, I planned a big company dinner and after introductions we got to discover new sides of each other that we normally don’t share in the office.
Personal hobbies and eye-popping talents swirled it’s way around tables and minds of the party. I slowly pieced together the inner-workings of my company’s kooky culture. Understand you’re not the only nervous behaviorally-timid soul in the bunch, so simply ask your co-workers what deeply interests them. Promise, it’s an instant conversation starter, and it shows you want to know more than an email response.
2. The Drank…
Well first, in this country you must be 21 or over. And if you are, welcome to the party…the responsible party. There’s no beer pong and card sucking – Clueless style, here. Unless your job is pretty laid back, but I’d still suggest you absolutely mind your liquor intake while speaking with co-workers. When the manager angelically hovers down the staircase with a Mr. Grinch Grin presenting a tray of Fireball shots, be ready for a rush of fun. And it’s ok to say NO; it’s not hazing. Plus, people understand…so don’t be embarrassed to cheers that sparkling water!
3. Party Animal featured by the Feed
Many of you are self-efficient when making that first connection. However, maybe the other person knows a lot more of you than you realized. They bring up locations and friends you possibly know, and in your head, while of course smiling and nodding, you’re like “how in the world does this person know my life story.” Well buddy, it’s that good ol’ social media…it’s a blessing and a curse. I’m an avid user myself, and I sometimes see my Instagram followers dip and rise. Yeaaa, it’s a constant struggle, and I’m working to limit my feed bomb. Add to the conversation by stating you have a love for great people and fun. Then follow-up with a great story to close the deal and focus on the other person. As my best friend would say, “crisis averted”.
4. Keep Socializing
I think it’s about time to make those rounds, don’t you? Be mindful of the duration you spend with your safe haven group. Ya know, the table where the same humor and interests are shared. Actually that’s pretty golden to create, but shame on you if a social cult forms. Don’t exclude yourself from the party. Take your co-worker’s information and keep it movin’. The night’s goal is to touch about 85% of attendees with your charming personality. Those people will be of certain use to you in the future.
Lastly, go. Connections begin when we completely show our personalities. It is here, I believe we become closer. Bond and build a professional relationship that can become wholesomely beneficial to you.
Stay Intrigued and Keep Believing.