Five Things You Should Never Say at Company Social Events – And Five You Should

Picnics and other company outings give you the chance to connect with co-workers and managers in a relaxed setting – but this doesn’t mean you should let your guard down entirely. To make the best possible impression on managers with the power to help you advance in your career, know which statements to avoid at the next company social event, and which ones to fill your conversation with instead.

Let’s start with words to avoid. Which five things should you never say at a company event?

  1. “Sorry, I can’t help.” Employees who refuse to pitch in during a company social event barely rank higher than those who fail to attend at all.       Find a way to make yourself useful, especially if you can do so in sight of a manager whose kudos you need.
  2. “I’d rather be ____.” Nobody enjoys social events with people who don’t want to be there. Even if you’d rather be elsewhere, don’t mention it.       Instead, look for a reason to enjoy yourself.
  3. “Let’s talk about the Jones account.” Talking shop at a company social event is rarely interesting. While you might join in a conversation that’s already begun, when choosing topics of your own, stick to fun and small talk.
  4. “No, thanks; I’d rather watch.” Even if you enjoy being at the event, nothing telegraphs “I’d rather be elsewhere” than not participating. Join in the fun if you can, or help behind the scenes if you can’t.
  5. “In your face, losers!” You may not be talking shop, but your attitude and behavior is still being evaluated. Whether you win or lose at a game or sporting event, be a gracious good sport.

Between joining in the fun, helping behind the scenes, and enjoying the food, what should you talk about at a company event? Try these five topics:

  1. “I’ll be there!” Instead of sitting on the fence until you know who else is going, be one of the first to accept an invitation. You’ll display enthusiasm and encourage others to follow suit. Double-check whether your family is invited before you bring them.
  2. “What can I do to help?” Whether it’s firing up the grill, unfolding the folding chairs, or picking up trash afterward, the planning committee will appreciate your help – and your willingness to go the extra mile will not go unnoticed.
  3. “We can do it!” Encourage good sportsmanship and teamwork by not only joining in the fun and games, but spurring on your teammates. Win or lose, keep all your comments positive.
  4. “No, thanks; I’ve had enough.” If alcohol is served, err on the side of sobriety and have only one drink, or none at all. You’ll reduce the risk of doing something you regret and may be able to help a co-worker by offering to serve as a designated driver.
  5. “Have we met? My name is….” Don’t miss this chance to connect with people you don’t ordinarily work with.  You’ll gain valuable allies who can help you on your next big project or put in a good word where it matters.

At Marquee Staffing, our experienced recruiters can connect you to companies that offer great career opportunities in Southern California and a company culture that fits your work style. Contact us today to learn more!

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