How to use work events to your advantage

Inspiring Laser Tag event. Who is that bloke in glasses pulling a ridiculous face?

Work events offer a great opportunity for interns and new staff members to network, impress and bond with colleagues. It is an avenue to both build existing relationships in a non-work environment and to network with people in different departments. The purpose of work events is to build moral, bringing colleagues together for a bit of camaraderie and well-earned recognition.

As a new staff member a faultless attendance record is a must unless you have a very good reason. The office party is part of the job and can also be a great time to impress the powers that be and put your career into the next gear.

Socialising at work events can be complicated; especially if drinks are on the company card and your alcohol tolerance resembles that of a toddler. As the alcohol begins to flow and the not-at-work euphoria sets in, it is important to remember that it’s just as easy to advance your career as it is to cripple it.

Here are a few tips on how to use work events to your advantage:

  • Interact with as many people as possible, especially key people like the boss. Work events are a good ways to forge connections, so you should maximise your face time with your colleagues and boss.
  • Introduce yourself to people from the office that you haven’t met. These events are a great way to interact with people from different departments whom you normally don’t get a chance to talk to.
  • Make sure that what you wear reflects well on you professionally. This is not the time to show up in your most revealing outfit. If you don’t know what to wear and need some guidance then double check with co-workers.
  • Stand out by being sociable and appearing fun and likeable. It is a good time to show your personality and have a laugh outside office hours. Don’t just talk about yourself but show an interest in others and try to find common ground such as; hobbies, entertainment, sports, current events, or mutual acquaintances.  Overall, being friendly, controlled, and socially mature will get you a lot further than bragging or trying too hard to stand out.
  • Don’t get into a heated argument over a topic that is controversial, offensive, or bound to cause conflict.
  • Avoid bad-mouthing or gossip. It is better to go the high road and not join in with office tittle-tattle.
  • When it comes to alcohol, don’t feel like you have to drink but if you chose to, remember moderation is key. Know your limits and decide how many drinks are appropriate. There is no harm in getting merry but think about the impression you are setting. Keep an eye on how much your colleagues are drinking but don’t feel like you have to keep up.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy yourself! That is what they are for. Do you have any funny/embarrassing/disastrous work event stories to share?

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