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‘Tis the season! Between decorations, good food and holiday parties this is the season to have some fun! You can count on holiday parties from now until January (maybe even February depending where you live). Relieve the stress from the fall and welcome winter with the fun festivities of holiday parties. Plus it’s a great time to network!

How to Have Fun Networking During Holiday Parties:

1. Introduce yourself with a smile: Sometimes I get nervous when I meet new people, especially at holiday mixers. If you find yourself awkward or afraid to introduce yourself take a pause and just do it. Holiday parties are a great time to get to know people without the hassle of being formal.

2. Keep work related conversations to a minimum: Since it’s a holiday party people just want to have fun and mingle. Keep all the talk about heavy topics related to your job or your research to a minimum. Instead talk about holiday plans or lighter topics.

3. Follow-up: Keep in mind that people get really busy around the holidays so follow-up asap. Send a quick email or phone call no later than 48 hours. You want them to remember you.

4. Dress appropriately: Some companies are having ugly sweater parties. If so here’s your time to get creative! If not, you can still wear something festive. I would go for a fit and flare dress in vibrant color with a black blazer to tone it down. It’s okay to be festive, just keep a professional tone to your look.

5. Bring a good gift (for hostess/gift exchange): Never come to a holiday party empty-handed. Even if it’s a small gift it’s a nice gesture to bring one. If you are participating in a gift exchange bring a gift that your coworkers will like. If you are looking for some gift ideas check out my gifts ideas for scientists and gift ideas for science graduates posts. I’m sure you will find something.

6. Don’t drink too much of the holiday ‘punch’: Even though this is a time to have some fun, remember that you are still at a professional event. You don’t want to be ‘that’ drunk person at the holiday party. This is not good. Don’t let that be you!

7. Have Fun: After all it is a holiday party! 🙂

What are your tips? Stay tuned for more networking tips. Have a fun and safe Holiday!

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