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Career Advancement at Your Holiday Office Party

When you receive an invitation to your organization’s holiday party, you might have a few questions swirling in your mind. Questions like, “Will there be an open bar?” or “Do I have to go?” may cross your thoughts. And, of course, there’s the perennial question, “Can I bring my significant other?” These are reasonable concerns, but if you’re looking to leverage these events to further your career, there’s a more vital question to ponder: How can I connect with the right people in the right way?

Our first tip is a BONUS to our expert’s 7 tips but be prepared with a stellar introduction that starts the conversation. 

Practice and perfect the art of introducing yourself clearly and simply. Figuring out your introductory “sound bite” (similar to an elevator pitch) is worth it. It gets that conversational ball rolling!

(1) The Primary Goal: Leveraging the Holiday Gathering for Professional Growth

In this quest for career advancement during holiday gatherings, it’s essential to recognize that the primary goal isn’t solely to have fun. Unlike a family or friends’ holiday party, the office holiday party serves a distinct purpose. It’s not about unwinding completely or indulging in every appetizer on the menu. It’s not even about hanging out with your everyday lunch buddies. Instead, it’s an opportunity to spend time with key individuals who you might not connect with organically due to different functional areas or office locations.

holiday party at the office

(2) Strategic Networking: How to Meet Key People at the Event

If you find it necessary to take a quick break or have a snack before the event to ensure you’re alert and not glued to the buffet table, then do so. Once you step into the party, commit to being fully engaged and involved throughout your time there.

(3) Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Avoiding the Usual Suspects

After saying hello to your regular circle of colleagues, seek out people you don’t know well. Those you only talk to a few times a year can provide new opportunities and perspectives.

(4) Beyond Work Talk: Building Meaningful Personal Connections

Instead of exclusively discussing work, focus on building rapport with colleagues from other departments. Find out about their holiday plans, hobbies, and interests. This will make them more receptive to your future requests.

(5) The Buddy System: Navigating the Party with Confidence

If you’re uncomfortable approaching new people, bring a friend or your significant other along to ease your entry into new social circles. This can lead to more natural introductions.

(6) Balancing Engagement: Not Staying Too Long or Bouncing Around

After engaging in a conversation for a while, gracefully exit by saying you need to refresh your drink or proposing a follow-up meeting. This demonstrates your commitment to follow through, enhancing trust.

(7) The Office Holiday Party: Where Social Meets Professional Opportunities

Remember, the office holiday party is a mix of social and professional, so it’s essential to strike a balance. You can certainly enjoy the moment with people you know but remain intentional about expanding your network. Ultimately, this event offers both social enjoyment and professional growth opportunities.


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Ellie LaPosha

Ellie LaPosha

Marketing Manager

Meet Ellie, our esteemed team member who joined Merito Group in March 2023. With a background as the Marketing Director of a local wedding venue in Missouri, Ellie brings a wealth of experience in marketing strategy and execution. Prior to that, she honed her skills by working with small businesses, focusing on small business website design and brand development. Today, Ellie leads our dedicated marketing team, driving our clients’ success through user experience and digital marketing expertise. Her passion for creating impactful campaigns and delivering exceptional results makes her an invaluable asset to our organization.