Holiday Party Season Dos and Don’ts

The Nice list is a much better place to be with clients, colleagues and friends. Celebrate the spirit of the season…without invoking the spirits of Christmas Past.

darren-nolander-holiday-do-dont-featuredWhile we’re on the subject of holidays, I thought this might be a good time to chat about the ever-tricky holiday party season. I’m not here to be the fun police. Trust me. Rather, I’m simply here to say that, as a guy who’s seen it all before, I want to make sure your holiday networking opportunities go off without a hitch.

Now is definitely the season to catch up with clients, both old and new. Wish them a happy holiday season, see if they’re available for coffee, lunch or even a quick trip ‘round the shopping center. Personalized holiday cards that are signed by you are also a great way to spread goodwill among man (and woman). It’s also a great idea to include a line about how wonderful it was to see them over that recent coffee or, if you were unable to connect, how much you’re looking forward to that lunch in the New Year.

Then we have those holiday parties. Why are these events always met with uneasiness and collar pulling? There’s a simple answer for this, and I bet you know what it is. Alcohol. It’s one of the swiftest ways to interrupt your goals, uproot your reputation and potentially damage your long-term career prospects. Do everyone a humungous favor and know your limits. That drink or two at a happy hour or holiday party is fine if you can handle it, but always, always, always err on the side of less is more.

Even in a strictly social setting outside of any professional obligation, I encourage you to think about the people you won’t meet, conversations you won’t have and renewed enthusiasm that won’t be displayed if you return to the office Monday morning with your tail between your legs and a raging headache. One of the tips I hope you’ve really learned from me is that networking opportunities genuinely are all around. Don’t let them pass you by in favor of that fourth candy cane martini. I promise you, that debt will not be worth the short-term “liquid”ity.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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