The Holiday Office Party: Why Attending Can Help Boost Your Legal Career

From Robert Half Legal

Many employers are having holiday parties this time of year. In fact, a new survey by our company shows that 93 percent of organizations will host holiday festivities. Nearly half (48 percent) of the seasonal soirees will take place onsite, and another 48 percent will be offsite.

So, do employees, especially those aren’t social butterflies, need to show up? Sixty-six percent of managers say yes. While office-sponsored events should never be considered mandatory, attendance can be good for your career since they offer a unique opportunity to forge relationships with colleagues outside the constraints of the office.

It may be especially important to attend office social functions if you want to advance your career and perhaps manage others. Moreover, because law offices may be slightly smaller with a more collegial atmosphere than other types of businesses, you might seem conspicuously absent if you skip the celebration.

Here are a few pointers to make the most of your firm’s holiday party if you do attend:

Mix it up. Don’t just mingle just with your immediate coworkers. Take advantage of the setting to strike up a conversation with colleagues you don’t know well.

Don’t be clingy. Try not to monopolize anyone’s time. Be sure to circulate and engage in short chats with numerous people.

Limit shoptalk.Steer away from work conversation. Instead, come with safe conversation starters, such as holiday or travel plans.

Practice moderation. Don’t engage in too much merriment by overindulging with drink or oversharing with information.

Even if you feel a little uneasy about socializing with work colleagues, especially since you’re new to the firm, you’ll score points by showing up. Just remember not to let your professionalism get lost in the festive atmosphere. And be sure to express appreciation to those who worked on the event by thanking them in person or sending an email afterward.