Now that the “Holiday Season” is in full swing, company holiday parties are being planned and invitations sent. These celebrations of holiday cheer are notorious for the stories that are told around the water cooler the next day in the office – drunken co-workers saying and doing embarrassing things.

But these events are not just danger zones where you need to be on your best behavior; they can also be a way for you to build your brand and network.

  • Obviously, remain sober! Sure have a couple drinks, but don’t overdo it to the point where you say or do inappropriate things like flirting with a co-worker, photocopying body parts, or even worse – driving drunk!
  • Mind your manners! Don’t talk with your mouth full, lick buffalo wing sauce off of your fingers, pick your teeth, or wipe your hands on anything but a napkin.
  • Dress the part! Make sure you understand if there is a dress code for the event and dress accordingly.
  • Network! Don’t be a wall flower huddled in the corner, nor should you cling to your immediate co-workers like a clique of teenagers at the mall. This is a key opportunity for you to get to know people outside of your normal daily interactions – including leaders within the company! Don’t miss out!

When you attend company holiday events, keep in mind these tips to not only protect your brand – but to enhance it as well!


Mike Spinale is a corporate Human Resources leader at a healthcare information technology company located outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has over eight years of experience in HR and management including career counseling, recruitment, staffing, employment branding, and talent management. Mike has dedicated his HR career to modern views on the field – HR is not about the personnel files – it’s about bringing on the best talent, ensuring they’re in the right seat, and keeping them motivated and growing in their careers. In addition, Mike is the author of the CareerSpin blog where he offers advice and opinion on job search, personal & employment branding, recruiting, and HR. Mike is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. He is also a board member of the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, a board which sets workforce development policy for Boston’s Metro-North region, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Northeast Human Resources Association.

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