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Navigating the Holiday Social Season, by guest blogger: Tracey Rossignol

Navigating the Holiday Social Season
By guest blogger: Tracey Rossignol

December is such a social month, with so many opportunities to get together with both old and new friends, and expand your professional networks.   It is also a season rife with the opportunity for networking disasters.  Well friends don’t let friends drink and schmooze.   So I’ve got a few tips to help you navigate the landmine of the Holiday social season.

How am I uniquely qualified to provide these tips?  Well I’m the one most likely to spill food down my front or put my foot in my mouth at most any party.  And that is BEFORE I have a drink.  You can imagine I’ve made a few goofs (and witnessed a few too) over my career. So I’ve come up with a few tips to keep in mind.

1.       Dress for the job you want.  This wonderful piece of advice is especially applicable to office parties; where many of the sexy party dresses or festive (read tacky) ties have come out to play.   Remember that you need to work with, and hopefully get promoted by, these same people. Leave the micro mini for parties with your friends.

2.       Use the buddy system.    Find a good friend and agree to keep an eye on each other through the event.   Then if either of you see the other sipping one too many fancy martinis and heading to talk to the boss – they can head you off at the pass.  Or help you off the table you were dancing on with one of the Partners. Or assist if you have one too many and need to depart quickly.  Being “that” person that was sick at the company party is not a reputation quickly forgotten.  And you especially don’t want your boss to be the one who has to rescue you from the bathroom.  Or hold your hair.

3.       Don’t abandon your spouse/partner/date.  If your company party includes dates don’t leave them on their own too long.  You don’t want them to have an awkward conversation with the CEO, or to re-arrange the Gingerbread men on the dessert table into inappropriate positions because they got bored.

4.       Don’t tweet the company holiday party.   It might be really funny that your boss just fell backwards into the band, but it won’t help your relationship the next day.   I have to admit I am very relieved that many of my party mishaps happened back in the “old” days when there wasn’t any twitpic proof of it the next day.

5.       Don’t drink and dial… This is not the time to leave a holiday greeting voice mail for anyone. The only phone call you should be making after several martinis is for a taxi.

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