Should You Go to Your Company Holiday Party?

Oh, the holidays. The season of shopping, gift wrapping, cooler weather, and—of course—your annual company holiday party. Sure, you might think of your office’s festive celebration as a complete hassle and pain that requires you to spend even more time with the people you work with. And, the only reason you’re even somewhat tempted to go is to hit up the open bar and the buffet of free appetizers.

But, I assure you, the perks of attending your company’s holiday party extend far past just champagne and a free meal. Here are five good reasons to get yourself snazzed up, put on a smile, and join in on your organization’s festivities—aside from the unlimited hors d’oeuvres.

1. Connect with Your Co-Workers

Alright, so you see the people you work with every weekday. But, how much do you really know about them outside of their work email address and their favorite breakroom snack? Well, think of your company holiday party as your chance to get together and socialize outside the four walls of your office.

Even if your company holiday party is a formal one, the get-together is still a more social atmosphere than your cubicle. So, branch out and really get to know your co-workers on a more personal level. Not only will you engage in some entertaining conversations, you’ll also set the stage for even better working relationships. It’s a win-win!

2. Demonstrate Your Commitment

Let’s face it—it’s pretty much expected that you’ll be in attendance at your office party. And, anybody who doesn’t show tends to look like a lazy employee who’s shirking responsibility and doesn’t care an ounce about the company he or she works for.

Attending your company get-together with enthusiasm is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to your employer. Not only are you invested in your career from 9am to 5pm on Monday through Friday, but you’re excited about the opportunity to get together, network, and spend even more time with the people you work with. Impressing your boss with what a dedicated and passionate employee you are? Well, that never hurts.

3. Network

Some companies host parties just for employees, while others put together large celebrations for an assorted group of professionals in your area. Either way, you should look at the party as a great opportunity to network.

Typically, employees are at least welcome to bring their spouses. So, you’ll still be chatting with people outside of your own organization. And, if you work for a large company, your corporate holiday party is your chance to meet people from your own organization that you don’t interact with on a daily basis. That guy in accounting you’ve been meaning to talk to? Or, that woman in human resources you’ve been meaning to get to know? This is your chance!

Whether you’re meeting new people from within your own company or shaking hands with some other new professional contacts, you should always take advantage of a chance to network.

4. Schmooze Your Boss

Maybe you’re in line for a promotion. Or, perhaps you’re just always looking for ways to stay on your boss’ good side (which, you should be!). Either way, the office holiday celebration is your chance to make an amazing impression on your supervisor.

All of the benefits outlined above essentially roll into this. You’ll get to know your boss on a more personal level and connect on something other than work-related matters. Plus, showing up will demonstrate your level of commitment to your career and your employer. Maybe you and your supervisor won’t become instant best friends. But, showing up to the party can really only improve your boss’ perception of you.

5. Boost Your Holiday Cheer

When it comes down to it, the holidays are a fun time of year. And, your office holiday party is fun too, if you go into it with the right attitude. Think about it—your corporate get-together offers delicious treats, festive music, and the chance to get a little snazzed up for a night out. It’s a chance to join in on the holiday festivities and get into the spirit of the whole season—which is sure to take your holiday cheer to the next level. And, let’s be honest, nobody likes an office Scrooge.

However, keep in mind that showing up with an enthusiastic attitude is great, and there’s nothing wrong with letting your hair down. But, if you’re going to attend your company party, do so with the intention of making the best impression possible, and remember not to drink more than your fair share of spiked egg nog. After all, your boss likely won’t be impressed with your drunken version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”.

Attending your company’s holiday party is definitely a must if you’re aiming to be viewed as an enthusiastic and dedicated employee. From impressing your boss to forming relationships with your co-workers, there are tons of benefits involved with showing up! And, if all of those reasons aren’t enough to convince you to head out the door, then just remember the free appetizers.

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Kat Boogaard

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Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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