The time of year for company holiday cheer and festivities is here! That means opportunities to network with fellow co-workers, as well as opportunities to possibly embarrass yourself. Follow these dos and don’ts to avoid potential damage to your reputation.
Do: participate in holiday activities.
Each organization handles the holidays differently. Some may have activities throughout the season, while others may plan a low-key pitch-in. Whatever the case may be, you should get involved. If there’s a planning committee (and your internship supervisor approves), reach out to the leader and offer your help.
Don’t: be too competitive.
If your organization has games or other competitive activities, remember to stay professional. A little competitive spirit is okay in some situations, but don’t go overboard. For example, you shouldn’t scream “Loser!” in the vice president’s face. That could lead to an uncomfortable conversation with your internship supervisor or human resources department.
Whether it’s a lunch or dinner, dress appropriately and again, act professionally. If you’re feeling brave, sit with employees you don’t normally interact with. This could lead to new connections. You should try to find some common ground to talk about; sports, Netflix shows or even elf culture. If you’re a little nervous, it’s perfectly acceptable to sit with fellow interns or employees in your department. They may introduce to other employees you haven’t met yet.
Buffets and open bars can be very tempting, but don’t go overboard. Do not stack your plate full of free shrimp or have multiple mimosas (if you’re of legal age). This is a professional occasion, not your friend’s wedding. Make sure the food on your plate is properly rationed and neat, not stacked for maximum consumption. If it is an after-hours event with adult beverages, proceed with caution and take note of what other employees are doing.
Lastly, don’t be a Grinch! Have fun and enjoy yourself! We hope you have a fantastic holiday season!