It would seem easy right? It’s a party with all the same people you spend 40 hours a week working with! But office parties can be more daunting when you suddenly realize the corporate masks are off, and you’re surrounded by relative strangers in a social setting. Office parties for birthdays or holidays, or even just a generous thank you from the higher ups are your chance to get to know your company comrades as something other than their professional roles – as their authentic selves. This is your chance to step out not as your essential function to the daily duties, but as who you are in the outside world. Being the life of this party (within reason) is relatively simple, and can leave your teammates with the knowledge that you are not only reliable, but also fun to spend time with. These simple tips to help you rock your next office get-together will be sure to leave the right lasting impression and make the daily grind a little more fun in the long term.
Come prepared – with compliments
Office parties mean that everyone you survive the work day with will be there, and typically happen at the end of work day. It’s too easy to commiserate together, but no one feels uplifted and festive after a full rant. Come prepared with some conversational compliments that will let people know that you not only value and see them, but that your intentions are to keep the attitude fun and lively. That coworker who always shows up a little early and starts the coffee for everyone? Be sure to mention it or go the extra step and even bring her/him a cafe gift card to treat them for all that extra care they offer every day. Noticed that your cubicle mate is extremely neat or especially driven in her role? Be sure to acknowledge her hard work. This not only routes the conversation toward gratitude and valuing each other, it lets others know you care about their performance and well being. Who doesn’t want that in a coworker?
Be the first to start the fun
If there’s a chance to socialize in a new way at the party, say a raffle or a fun game, be the first to jump in on the action. This gets the fun going and lets people know you aren’t afraid to let loose every once in a while. That’s the kind of coworker others want to invite out to future events, like happy hours. Even if you consider yourself the shy type, this is a great chance to get comfortable putting yourself out there. So next time that promotion comes up, you’ll have practiced a little bit more bravery and be more willing to put your hat in the race.
Leave them wanting more
Like any social setting, it’s better to leave wanting more with lots of great memories in tow than to outlast the crowd and be the last to leave. After you’ve made your charming appearance and had fun with the crowd, leave the right impression by lingering just long enough to have fun, get to know everyone, and then get back home. Even though a company party is a chance to relax and have fun, you’re still on company territory and want to maintain professionalism.
Office parties are a great chance to connect in a casual, social manner and bond even more with your company chronies in a new setting. Letting out your conversational side and allowing the people you work with to get to know you more personally can make the work day all the more fun, and offer new connections to collaborate through on future projects. So relax and enjoy yourself!