5 Ways to Advance Your Career at the Office Holiday Party

The office holiday party season is in full swing. Who will dip their cup in the punch bowl one too many times? Who will take part in some terrible karaoke or over exuberant dance moves? If you want to keep yourself off the naughty list this year, instead of drinking too much and chatting up your friends, consider using the office holiday party as an opportunity to advance your career. Here are five tips to get you started.

Do your research

It’s tempting to spend the whole evening hanging out with your usual office friends but do some research before the party to find out who else will be there. If your company uses Evite or Outlook to send invitations, you can usually start there to see who has RSVP’d. Otherwise, consider asking the event organizer who is coming.

Target people to speak with

Once you have an idea of who will be there, make a short list of people to talk to that you normally don’t get to interact with. It might be the head of a department you do not work with often or just someone in the company that is doing good things. Now is your chance to casually rub elbows with the higher-ups, so don’t be afraid to approach them.

If you are nervous about approaching someone on your own, find an outgoing coworker ask him or her to make an introduction. However, introverts should resist the temptation to spend the entire event tagging along with a more outgoing person. Otherwise, the extrovert will be the only one making a lasting impression.

Find common ground

Nobody wants to spend the holiday party talking about work, so do a little research on the people you plan to speak with to learn more about their interests outside of work. Bios on the company’s website are a good place to start or you can check out their social media profiles.

Make sure you’re up on current events, but avoid topics that are controversial or depressing. Remember that the best conversationalists are ones who ask a lot of friendly questions.

Thank the hosts

A polite guest never neglects to thank the host or hostess, and the office holiday party is no exception. Sometime during the evening, seek out the Managing Partner or other members of the leadership team to thank them for hosting the event.

Don’t forget to follow up

When you are back at the office on Monday, follow-up with the people you spoke to, telling them how much you enjoyed their conversation and inviting them to grab lunch or coffee at a later date. Send them an interesting article on a topic you discussed or share another resource you think they’ll find useful.

Take advantage of the opportunity to establish relationships at the office holiday party. Connecting with colleagues, meeting new people, and networking like a pro will reflect favorably on you when it comes time for promotions.


As the Marketing Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Heather’s primary focus is on developing the firm’s marketing strategy and brand awareness to help drive business results. She manages and executes marketing and business development initiatives, with daily oversight of the website, social media, and thought leadership content. In addition, as a part of the Business Development team, she provides leadership and strategic planning on marketing and communication practices for the firm.