How To Use Your Office Holiday Party to Land a Promotion
Vicki Salemi wrote this great piece in the New York Post and included my insight about leveraging the office holiday party to your career advantage. Check it out!
When a company’s branch manager throws a huge party to land a client in the Jennifer Aniston flick “Office Christmas Party,” out this week, many viewers may relate.
The company holiday party is about more than an open bar: It’s a great opportunity to advance your career. “This celebration is a key opportunity to be seen and heard with an audience you might not usually have access to,” says Caroline Dowd-Higgins, career coach and author of “This Is Not the Career I Ordered.”
So, instead of squandering the situation drinking spiked eggnog, leverage that fête for prime career potential in the New Year.
To get a promotion
Ease into the conversation with your boss, notes career and job-search strategist Hannah Morgan.
“Start with small talk about the party’s food or location,” says Morgan. “[Then] transition to work by complimenting your boss. Keep the conversation warm so they are open to your proposal.”
Next, list your recent accomplishments, and make it clear that you’re ready to take on bigger goals in the coming year — and request a meeting to discuss these opportunities further. Says Morgan: “The request may sound like, ‘I’d really like to take on more responsibility and see where you can best tap into my skills. Can we meet next week?’ ”
To ask for more money
Similarly, when you want to boost your paycheck, it’s all about securing a sit-down with your superior in the days following the party. “Securing time with your boss in a less-formal setting like a party reduces some anxiety,” says Morgan. She suggests starting the conversation by saying, “I’ve taken on several projects, and I’d like to talk with you about how this will play out down the road.”
This meeting will help set goals for your future so you can exceed performance expectations and snag a bigger salary bump at your annual review.
To take on a new client
Parties are a great opportunity to talk up your accomplishments — without sounding like you’re reading off your resume.
Dowd-Higgins recommends developing sound bites that show you’re confident, innovative and articulate. If you want the boss to know you’re a go-getter with the ability to manage bigger clients, Dowd-Higgins gives the green light to create conversations that share that information — such as recounting the time a customer made a last-minute request that you worked magic to fulfill, or the sneaky way you snagged a client from a competitor.
“Then you can state, ‘I look forward to growing in the new year, as this is the place where I want to advance my career,’ ” says Dowd-Higgins.
To pitch a new business idea
James C. Crimmins, author of “7 Secrets of Persuasion,” says to succeed in this arena, it’s best to plant the idea in your boss’ head before the actual party. “The boss will be more receptive if he or she has heard a bit about it in advance,” he says.
This way, when the party arrives, your boss should be familiar with your pitch and curious about the idea you’ve dropped into conversation. Over crudités, Crimmins suggests, bring up the idea again and continue the conversation by stating: “I’ve finished running the numbers, and corporate will like them. I’ll stop by in a day or two to walk you through it.” Then, schedule time on the boss’ calendar to close the deal.