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Tips for Surviving Your Office Holiday Party

Christmas time is a season of giving, but when it comes to holiday bonuses, not all employers are in a giving mood this year. According to a new CareerBuilder.ca survey, 47 per cent of firms are not providing their staff with Christmas bonuses.

Yet for those employers who are giving out bonuses, there’s good news: 12 per cent are giving a bigger Christmas bonus than they did last year, and 32 per cent are giving one the same size. Certain industries are also faring better than others when it comes to getting some extra end-of-year money. Accountants are in line for the biggest bonuses, with 17 per cent of employers in the sector saying they are giving bigger bonuses than they did last year, followed by: IT (16 per cent), operations and sales (13 per cent), and HR and marketing (12 per cent).

Saying thanks with a celebration

While not every employer plans to pay up, they do still want to reward their employees for their hard work and celebrate their accomplishments. Many are doing so in the form of a holiday party, with 68 per cent of employers hosting a Christmas bash this season.

For those who are having a party, 14 per cent of employers are holding a bigger Christmas get together than they did last year, and 47 per cent are hosting one the same size. IT workers are the most likely to have a bigger party, with nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of employers planning to increase their spend this year.

Getting the most out of your Christmas gathering

If you’re not very keen on a workplace party, you’re not alone: 90 per cent of employees surveyed would prefer a bonus over a Christmas party and 22 per cent say they won’t be attending their party.

Yet showing up at your holiday gathering – whether you want to or not – can actually do your career some good. Even if you aren’t looking forward to the festivity, here are some tips for getting the most out of attending:

  • Watch what you eat – and drink: While holiday parties are meant for overindulging, if you’re in the middle of a conversation with, say, your CEO, you may want to hold off on eating that messy brisket sandwich until after your talk concludes. And when it comes to drinking, do so socially, but know your tolerance and be careful not to go overboard. You don’t want to be the focus of all of the post-party stories.
  • Branch out: In situations such as these, it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and only talk to your best work friends or close teammates. But a social gathering such as this is a great time to network and get to know others in your company on a more personal level. Try sitting at a table with people you don’t know or inviting an unfamiliar colleague to join your conversation.
  • Don’t overdo it on work conversations: Sure, work is what you have in common with most people at the party, but remember, this is supposed to be a break from work. While office topics may come up, try to keep the conversation light.
  • Have fun: You may be dreading it, but try to go into the party with a positive attitude. Chances are, you’ll end up forming new professional friendships and actually enjoying yourself.

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