Subscribe

Forum

Going to the company holiday outing or party

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby James Tyler » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:54 pm

When I’m outside of work, I want to separate my work and my personal life, so it would make me feel very suffocated if I were to spend time with coworkers outside of work (except for the occasional dinner after work, which I’ve done before). Basically, I’d prefer not to go to a company holiday outing or party. I’ve been working in my position for almost a year, but I’m the newest employee there. It’s also a small company and everyone knows each other. I’m well-liked by my coworkers and I frequently socialize with others at work and I’ve established rapport with many of my coworkers.

How do you usually approach these things? What do companies expect from their employees? How does a company feel about employees who don’t want to go to company holiday outings? What would be the consequences of not going to these things?

Do you factor in the type of outing? Would it be expected to come to a simple dinner but understandable if you don’t want to spend the weekend in a place that’s a few hours drive away? How do you tell them that you don’t want to go? What are some acceptable excuses and what are some bad excuses?

Sorry for all the questions; I’m new to this and I want to make sure I don’t cause any problems.
James Tyler
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Rich Lemert » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:21 pm

A lot depends on the company culture. Some places are going to be hard-core party places; others will be more laid-back.

One thing to consider is that one thing they'll consider if things go south is how well you fit in the group. If you come across as a total loner, you won't have many allies when you need them.

This doesn't mean you have to accept every invitation you get. You can pick and chose - and you don't need to say anything more than "sorry, I can't make it." You should try to make at least some events, though. Check around and see if some events are more critical than others. You might be taking a big risk of you blow off the boss's favorite activity.
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Ken » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:49 pm

If you're talking about a weekly outing to a bar, then I think it's fine to not attend.

If you're talking about a once a year holiday party that the company holds, then I would make every effort to attend. Moreover, I would make an effort to get over it and try to have a good time as well while I'm at it.
Ken
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:57 pm

I agree with Rich and Ken. You'll be labeled a "loner" if you don't go to the annual holiday party. That's a big deal in a smaller company, and all you need to do is stand there with a Coke and enjoy the company. At an early stage in your career, it would be unwise to be considered anti-social

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7875
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Cory » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:34 pm

I'll also emphasize that if your company has a wide range of staff (ie. billing, finance, customer service, sales) the imperative to participate is even higher.

As a group leader in my company, it's not a good look when none of my R&D staff show up for key social events. So in addition to improving your connection to the wider organization, you may also be doing your supervisor a favor!

Cory
Cory
 
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Dave Walker » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:48 am

Cory wrote:I'll also emphasize that if your company has a wide range of staff (ie. billing, finance, customer service, sales) the imperative to participate is even higher.

As a group leader in my company, it's not a good look when none of my R&D staff show up for key social events. So in addition to improving your connection to the wider organization, you may also be doing your supervisor a favor!

Cory


Excellent point about the reflection on leadership, Cory! I never thought about it that way. A great example of how one's individual actions, which we think only reflects on us, can effect the work lives of others.
"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
User avatar
Dave Walker
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:25 am

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby D.X. » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:41 pm

Good comment from Dave Walker regarding Cory's post.

But let's be more blunt - Cory's need touches on Politics - for that reason it is why many do go to these functions - the political element. This is not negative view but a key part of career development is playing the game that is being politically saavy - and this is great example of were it starts.

The decision to go or not to go can have political ramifications be it perceived as a loner or leaving your supervisor alone - it's flat plain old politics.

Thus it goes to say these types of gatherings can be quite political and more so as one advances in career and especially as one moves to bigger teams and companies - where holiday gatherings can be many - your department, your business unit, the dite location, and company. Same goes for Summer parties, team building, Town
galls, and other periodic events.

Good luck and choose wisely - I've made the mistake of not going to few corporate functions as a general practice - I've learned - it can easily be perceived you are not happy and that could be interpreted as a flight risk or non support on multiple tiers. In my case my behavior was addressed softly during my IDP as area of off-line development by a boss who was interested in my success - I was lucky to get that "heads up" a few years back. In that case I ditched multiple team buildings and official social engagements such as this thread topic, so I did deserve the tiny slap I got.

Cheers,

DX
D.X.
 
Posts: 1138
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:29 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:30 pm

Agree with DX and Cory.

Tell me Industry members . . . Can a scientist truly ESCAPE politics on the job, or will he/she be a slave to it for all of their career?

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7875
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Ana » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:00 am

Dave Jensen wrote:Agree with DX and Cory.

Tell me Industry members . . . Can a scientist truly ESCAPE politics on the job, or will he/she be a slave to it for all of their career?

Dave


Former industry member here. I don't think one can escape politics at work even as a scientist, but I wouldn't use the word "slave", it is too black or white. Instead I'd say scientists need to first understand those politics (there is nothing worse that not understanding what's going on at all!) and then learn how to navigate them. You learn how to live with it, you are no slave to it.
User avatar
Ana
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:48 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: Going to the company holiday outing or party

Postby Rich Lemert » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:18 am

The question is not whether or not there will be politics, but how disruptive they will be. If the organization takes steps to ensure that the individual's 'self-interest' is aligned with the company's interests, the disruption should be minimal. The problem comes when individuals put their interests above those of the organization.

Even the Vatican is rife with politics. You usually just don't see it since it's hidden behind the Conclave of Cardinals.

As an employee, you need to understand the politics that directly affect you. They may be at the highest levels (e.g. the Board of Directors deciding whether or not to out-source R&D), or they may be at your level. If you understand them, you can formulate an appropriate strategy to deal with them. (I recommend staying as neutral as possible in both word and deed.)

[At this point, I'll put in a plug for "The Predictioneer's Game" by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. He uses Game Theory - what he calls "the logic of brazen self-interest" - to understand and predict how people will react in various situations.]
Rich Lemert
Advisor
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Next

Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ken and 14 guests