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1. Keep the booze to a minimum.
If you do drink, do so sparingly. There's no one who's less impressive (while simultaneously feeling super impressive) than a person who's had a little bit too much liquid holiday cheer.
2. Listen, as well as speak.
You're trying to make a connection, not do a monologue, so make sure you pay attention to what your conversational partner has to say. You might get some information you need, and you're bound to make a better impression. Everyone likes people who listen to them.
3. Don't turn down any invitations.
Every contact is a potentially valuable contact, and you never know where you might meet someone who can help you -- or someone you can help. You might even make new friends, which is not the easiest thing to do when we're past the college years.
4. Don't talk about politics, religion, or other potential hot-button issues.
You might think you know someone's beliefs, based on their job or demeanor or even where they live, but you can never be sure. Besides, when the goal is to make a good professional impression, talking about subjects that are inappropriate in the workplace is a bad idea.
5. Dress appropriately.
It's a work event, even if your current employer isn't throwing it. Save the ball gowns and club wear for more casual social occasions.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think the holidays are good time for networking, or have you got enough on your plate at this time of year? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.