December 3rd, 2010 13:47 EST
7 Tips for a Great Holiday Party and Career Success
`Tis the season to celebrate, yet many companies are holding scaled back holiday parties as the economy is still recovering.
According to business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, author of the new book GREET! EAT! TWEET! 52 Business Etiquette Postings To Avoid Pitfalls and Boost Your Career (November, 2010), "The parties may be smaller, but employees need to remember that there are still lots of opportunities to make career-damaging mistakes. People say and do all sorts of inappropriate things at holiday celebrations."
Pachter recommends that you view the party as you would any other business event and suggests 7 guidelines for office party success:
1. Remember to RSVP. Let people know that you will attend. And provide a very good reason if you cannot. The holiday party is a business activity and you will be expected to participate.
2. Don`t post negative opinions about the party on your social media sites. Tweeting that you don`t want to attend isn`t appropriate. Also, do not post on Facebook, during or after the event, photos that show or comments that describe someone`s unbecoming behavior.
3. Schmooze with people. Keep the conversation upbeat. Complaining about the company or the economy is a downer. Talk to people you know and don`t know. And remember that the person you meet at the party may turn out to be the person who interviews you for your next job.
4. Dress appropriately. It may be a party, but your attire needs to be suitable for a business event, not a nightclub.
5. Do not get drunk. To stay sober set a limit for yourself before you go to the event. Or, order a drink you don`t like and sip it slowly all night. It`s easy to do something outrageous when you`ve had too much to drink.
6. Pay attention to your posture. Stand tall. Poor posture tells others that you are uncomfortable or bored. Don`t slouch or cross arms. You want to appear confident.
7. Say "goodbye" and "thank you" to the host or party organizers. You will usually want to send a thank-you note, also.
Barbara Pachter is a business etiquette expert and author of 9 books, including The Power of Positive Confrontation ($15.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.) and When the Little Things Count...And They Always Count ($13.95, paperback, Marlowe & Co.).
She specializes in business etiquette and communication. Her client list features major organizations worldwide, including Microsoft, Cisco, Pfizer, Chrysler, and Con Edison.
For a free copy of Pachter`s communication e-newsletter, "Competitive Edge," your readers can call (856) 751-6141 (NJ) or go to www.pachter.com.