Last week, my colleague Phil Stott wrote an article titled “4 Reasons Why You Should Skip the Office Party,” in which he raised some very valid risks that holiday parties present. And while I agree that work parties can present some potential problems—such as embarrassing yourself in front of your colleagues due to overconsumption of alcohol—they can also offer many benefits. Here are five reasons why you should attend your office party this year.
1. Raise your visibility with management
Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending your holiday party is the opportunity to network with management and other higher-level employees, whom you might not see on a regular basis. As long as you’re comporting yourself professionally, then making yourself known to management and establishing a positive rapport with higher-ups can be great for your career. Having the CEO or VP of your department be able to pick your face out from the crowd can have major benefits—for example, they might think of you first when the next promotion cycle comes around. Just as networking is crucial when you’re trying to land a job, continuing to network in your current role can help accelerate your career growth at your company.
2. Meet new people
Another benefit of attending your office bash is that you could meet colleagues you didn't already know. Making a concentrated effort to meet people from different departments can pay off in several ways. Not only will you have fewer awkward interactions in the hallway or break room, but you’ll probably find it easier to collaborate with coworkers across departments. For example, if you meet one of the graphic designers at your party, and you work in marketing, you might be able to reach out to her directly if you need specific creatives in the future, thus saving you time.
3. Improve your team dynamic
Having the opportunity to bond with your team outside the sometimes stressful constraints of work can make you work better together. For example, if you don’t particularly get along with a certain member of your team but you learn at the party that they share the same interest in obscure folk music as you, that might help you connect better and be more willing to help each other out on projects. And for those coworkers you do like, getting to know them better and establishing friendships can make your work experience significantly more enjoyable. Having someone to grab lunch with can make you happier and more comfortable at work.
4. Get recognized for your accomplishments
A major reason not to miss your holiday party is that you might receive recognition for your achievements. Most CEOs typically deliver a speech thanking everyone in the company for their hard work, and this recognition can boost office morale. Plus, you never know, you might even get an individual shout out for a particular milestone at work that you hit.
5. Have fun
Holiday parties often take place at cool venues featuring delicious food, drinks, and music. And oftentimes, event planning teams devote a lot of time and effort to making these events a great experience for their colleagues. So make the most of them, and have fun!
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