You’ve just been invited to the office Christmas party! Although the event is supposed to be a blast where you celebrate the holiday with those you’ve been working hard with, you’re not so excited. The problem is that since this is your first company party, you don’t know exactly what to expect.
Internal questions arise like what do you wear?, should you bring a guest?, and how much should you drink? Besides obviously wanting to make a good impression, you’re also focused on not embarrassing yourself in front of your co-workers and managers.
Don’t stress about it because you’ll be fine after you use this guide to get set straight and make the most out of the office Christmas party.
The Office Christmas Party Guide
1. What to wear: Simply because you’re off work doesn’t give you the green light to show up in risqué or casual attire. Shade on the edge of conservative so you are more remembered for your charming personality than wild outfit. And if you’re completely clueless, ask a co-worker what he or she is wearing to get enough information to dress accordingly.
2. Bringing a guest or not: Assuming the invitation doesn’t mention guests, your decision to bring someone depends mostly on the office party venue and amount of people going. If the party is inside the office or at a co-worker’s house, odds are bringing a guest will crowd the location and be frowned upon. However, if the office Christmas party is at a large restaurant or bar or outdoor location, then bringing a guest will most likely be normal.
3. What not to talk about: Although it’s an office party, leave all work-related frustrations, gossip, and comments at the door. The goal of the event is to have good fun and celebrate the organization’s success, not stress about next month’s project or your disagreement with Bob from the third floor.
Since office parties can lead to looser tongues and then “I can’t believe they said that” moments, it’s also wise to be mindful of what you say. Jokes can be hilarious, but first consider if they disrespect or make certain people uncomfortable before you speak them out loud. As long as you don’t talk about work or something inappropriate, you’re probably on the right path. And knowing the words successful people don’t say can help.
4. What to talk about: You can make the greatest impression by learning about the people you work with each day on a personal level. People love to talk about themselves, so you’re bound to find success in asking about your co-workers’ interests, hobbies, and outside of work involvement.
I also encourage you to introduce yourself and get to know a co-worker who you don’t often see at work. For one, learning about their interests and hobbies can help you discover something in common that you never would have known. Two, introducing yourself to someone you don’t know well is a great opportunity to practice your social skills since you don’t see them at the office much, so there’s less pressure. And lastly, this isn’t the reason to be friendly but just a nice benefit, you never know when your positive impression at the party can get you a huge favor later at work.
5. Keep your phone in your pocket or purse: Having your phone in front of your face is neither inviting for other people to talk to you or helpful in engaging other employees, so do without it. It also sends a rude message that you have better things to do or give your attention to, and that’s an impression you don’t want to make.
Also, you bringing out your phone could lead to a cascade effect of others getting on their phone and ruining the environment of the party. Once you see someone on their phone, for some reason humans are inclined to check their phone, too. For these reasons, it’s best to use your cellphone at a minimum.
6. Drinking and eating limits: Planning on drinking as much as you can imagine to show your co-workers that you’re fun and cool? Bad idea. Take it easy on the drinks so your boss doesn’t have to take care of you and get you an Uber. If you need specifics, a two-drink maximum is safe and three drinks is borderline aggressive, in my opinion.
Also, stuffing your face the entire night won’t help you introduce yourself and get involved in good conversations. And the less you eat, the less you have to worry about embarrassing sauce on your face or food in your teeth. A good solution is to eat before or after the party to curb your appetite.
This guide isn’t designed to stop all your fun at the office Christmas party. But to protect you from having too much fun to the extent that your job is in jeopardy when Monday rolls around. Let your goal be to get invited to the next office party, and you’ll be a hit!
Related: How To Make Friends At Work
How To Support Your Spouse In Their Work And Career
Support is essential for a spouse who is working on building a career. This is much easier said than done, as it isn’t always easy to give up the time and attention you get from your spouse in order for them to pursue their career goals. But, your spouse will greatly appreciate your love, patience, and support.
If you were working toward an exciting or beneficial goal, wouldn’t you want your partner to support you every step of the way? Of course you would.
Likewise, instead of becoming jealous of your partner’s work aspirations, become their ultimate cheerleader. Whether your partner is starting an entrepreneurial goal, changing jobs, or trying to climb the corporate latter, there are many ways you can show your support.
Here are some essential tips to support your spouse’s career and work-related goals.
Be a Team Player
When you got married you agreed to stand by one another for richer or poorer, no matter what the circumstance. One way you can stand by your vows and support your spouse’s career is by being a team player, even when times are tough.
Over the years, you may see a steady decline in cash flow, especially if your mate has taken on entrepreneurial goals. During these times you can support your mate financially by pitching in, perhaps taking on full or part-time work of your own.
You can support them emotionally by sticking by their decisions. This isn’t always easy.
For example, your mate may want to move you to a different country for some time for work reasons. If it is feasible to do so, will you follow your mate to help support their career or will you have a complaining, negative attitude?
Be a Sounding Board
There are many aspects of your partner’s work life that they may want to talk about. New positions they’d like to take on, branching out into a new field, taking on more responsibilities, or even just having a creative session to get ideas flowing.
These are all things that they may want to speak with you about. Even if you can’t entirely relate to the topic at hand, it is still encouraging for your partner to know you are willing to listen.
Whether you are offering your ear as a sounding board or participating in a brainstorming session to help your partner get excited about their work project, your partner will appreciate having you there to listen to their thoughts, dreams, and ideas.
Give Pep Talks
Your partner is not always going to be able to keep a positive attitude about their work and career. One way you can support your spouse’s career is by giving them a daily or weekly pep talk.
Remind them of all the wonderful reasons you have to believe in them. Remind them why they are great at their job and why the world/market/company benefits from having them on their team.
Leave notes of encouragement in your spouse’s car, on the bathroom mirror, or in their lunch. Finding these little surprises throughout the day will help show your spouse your genuine support.
Positive encouragement can help your spouse achieve their goals. Your support will encourage your spouse to push harder, be more creative, and muscle through the rough patches.
Be Your Spouse’s Cheerleader
Work can be stressful, so it’s important that your partner can come home to someone who is enthusiastic about their work life.
This means giving them the extra push when they are feeling tired, reminding them of all their excellent qualities that make them perfect for the position they are fighting for, and validates their dreams and ambitions.
One interesting static shows that when parents are supportive and express their desire for their child to graduate high-school, that child will then be 81% more likely to graduate.
Why? Because they had someone who supported them, cheering them on.
Similarly, your spouse is more likely to succeed at whatever they are trying to accomplish when they know that their partner is right behind them, supporting their decisions and routing for their success.
Whether your spouse is taking a new job opportunity or simply trying to advance their position, they are going to need your undying support.
Show Understanding and Discernment
Of course, showing support your spouse’s career does not mean putting your relationship on the backburner. But it does mean choosing when and where to have important conversations.
If you are upset about a small thing your spouse did, such as forgetting to take out the garbage, confronting them as soon as they get home from work is not a wise choice.
Understand the frustration your partner is feeling. Acknowledge that sometimes they are going to be forgetful or come home exhausted or in a bad mood.
Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt when they are going through a difficult or stressful time at work is one way you can support your spouse’s career and emotional wellbeing.
Talk About the Future
You cannot know the best way to support your spouse if you don’t know what their ultimate goals are. Knowing what each other’s plans are will help strengthen your marriage and help you understand where your mate is coming from regarding their career.
If your partner is ever feeling down and out or simply frustrated with their career, get them talking about the future.
Whether your partner is pursuing a new job or trying to start their own business, speaking openly about their goals and dreams will help them refocus and get excited about what life will be like after they have settled into their new career.
Supporting your spouse is how you show them that you love and care for them, so make sure you do it whole-souled.
Building excellent communication skills, being there as a sounding board for your mate, and encouraging them to reach for their dreams are all essential traits to support your spouse’s career.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.
Medical Engineering: A Career Option For Future Innovation
Were you aware that engineers are being used more and more frequently within the healthcare industry?
In fact, engineers are the driving force behind the most innovative advancements within healthcare in recent years.
If you are interested in engineering and would like to be involved in healthcare too, medical engineering would be the perfect career choice.
Engineering in the traditional sense has been seen as a male dominated environment, however medical engineering has attracted an equal ratio of females to males. Strong links have been made between medical schools and government research facilities, providing lots of opportunity for all.
A career choice of medical engineering will place you at the very forefront of pioneering technology to improve the health and prognosis of the population.
Medical engineering is an exciting, fast-moving career choice, which covers a large array of speciality areas within the healthcare industry. Medical engineering combines professional engineering skills with knowledge of the human body in order to develop diagnostic and treatment technology.
Medical engineering is often referred to as bioengineering or biomedical engineering and is the fastest growing area in the field of engineering. If you have a strong scientific background with a talent for engineering there are many degree courses available to combine the two disciplines. Once qualified and experienced in the sector, there are many opportunities to further your career by embarking on a postgraduate course, this could lead to your role changing to one of a teacher or lecturer, msn education jobs could also lead to a large increase in salary. A degree in medical engineering or bioengineering also offers you the opportunity to follow a career in medicine. Medical engineering offers an abundance of opportunity to diversify.
What does a medical engineer do?
The job profile of a medical engineer is varied depending on which area you choose to specialize in. The role requires the engineer to apply engineering principles to healthcare.
So your role will involve researching, designing or developing medical products to be used in areas such as artificial limb and organ creation.
Another area you could be involved in, is the design of computerized technology in surgical procedures.
Robots are now being frequently developed for use in the operating theatre for surgical and diagnostic procedures, robotic technology is now being incorporated into limb replacement too.
On a day-to-day basis, your tasks may include:
- Carrying out research to find solutions to clinical problems. This will include collecting data, organizing questionnaires and interviewing medical staff and patients in order to gather information.
- Using computer software to design, test and develop new equipment and programmes. You will develop prototypes and make the necessary adaptations following testing the usage.
- Working within a multidisciplinary team and members of the public and their families.
- Working closely with manufacturers of products to discuss cost effectiveness, design and if the product is efficient.
- Assessing the products capabilities and suggest modifications reflecting feedback from medical professionals and patients.
- Organising and implementing clinical trials relating to product development.
- Attending conferences to present new product ranges. Presenting to an audience at all levels including medical professionals, manufacturers and product users.
- Ensuring your own knowledge is constantly being updated so that you are aware of all technological advances relating to the field you are working in.
- Cooperating with GP’s and other healthcare professionals using products within the community to advise on how to use new products and equipment.
- Maintaining and testing clinical equipment used within the hospital and community.
- Training staff on how to use equipment.
- Ensuring equipment is being used safely by medical staff and patients and making sure safety checks are being routinely carried out.
Who will you be employed by?
The largest employer of medical engineers are health authorities.
Most of your work will be carried out within a clinical environment.
You may also gain employment with product manufacturers and research facilities. If you work for a manufacturer you may be involved in sales and demonstrating the capabilities of the product.
What qualifications do you need?
To be successful in applying for an entry level medical engineering job, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, chemistry or biology is normally required. More prestigious jobs normally require you to possess a master’s degree or a PHD in medical engineering.
It depends on where in the world you live as to the availability of medical engineering courses for example in the UK many undergraduate and postgraduate courses are offered.
The course content varies considerably and because the course is teaching a combination of two different sectors: healthcare and engineering.
You will find that some courses focus more on the technical and mechanical technology whereas others will be more biased towards biomedical sciences such as biology and physics. This is because medical engineering covers such a broad range of activities.
Research carefully and choose the course that reflects your interests. For the course to be able to teach effective skills, it is important that the university works in partnership with a medical school and teaching hospital, so that you can gain clinical experience.
Final year projects will be more accurate and easily completed when you can reflect theory to practice.
In addition to academic qualifications, medical engineers also need to have good interpersonal skills and be effective communicators.
During your role you will be working within a multidisciplinary team, so being a good team player is essential, as is the ability to talk at all levels when communicating with the general public.
Career prospects for medical engineers
Qualified medical engineers are in high demand and for that reason career prospects are excellent and varied. Manufacturers employ medical engineers to design, develop and manufacture new medical technology. Advancements in technology are being made at a fast rate and medical engineers are at the helm of new and innovative products, machinery and robotic technology.
In addition to working directly with manufacturers medical engineers have the option to work within hospitals. It is in the clinical environment where you would be involved in introducing new technology to medical practitioners. It would be your role to ensure equipment is implemented correctly and is maintained. If you wish to further your career so that you can teach people how to use equipment correctly, there are courses to enable you to do this.
Other sectors that employ the expertise of medical engineers are research facilities run by the government. The purpose of these facilities is to drive innovation and growth in the healthcare industry. The government works very closely with universities to gain academic input at the highest level.
It is also possible to gain employment as a technical advisor related to marketing new products.
Medical engineering allows you the opportunity to get involved with many exciting projects. The area of hip and limb replacement surgery has taken great steps in recent years and the first bionic arm has been developed. The limbs are getting more realistic and there is the possibility of patients being able to control movement in their limbs via the attachment of muscles and tendons in the future.
Who knows what developments will be possible in the future? We already have the technology to restore hearing and headway is currently taking place to restore lost vision caused by retinal damage.
Choosing medical engineering as a career means that your expertise will benefit millions of people across the world. You will be involved in developing new technology to assist in quality of life, better diagnosis of disease and accuracy in undertaking procedures.
How much does a medical engineer earn?
In the US medical engineers earn around $51,000 to start and up to $134,000. The average salary being around $81,000.
In the UK, NHS technicians earn a salary of around £21,000 – £28,000. At a specialist level, or as a team leader your salary will range between £26,000 and £41,000 a higher salary can be reached if you get to head of department level.
Similar levels are reached within the private sector, depending on levels of experience and expertise.
As there is a worldwide shortage of qualified medical engineers you should have no problem finding employment once your training is finished. You will be able to specialize as you find your preferred area of interest and career progression prospects are good.
As medical engineers need to stay current in their knowledge there will be opportunity for worldwide travel to attend international conferences. Networking with other medical engineers is also important, so that valuable knowledge can be shared and developed within the healthcare industry.
Many engineers find themselves working in traditional engineering roles such as within the construction industry, but the fact that you can combine engineering skills with healthcare advancements has opened up the whole engineering industry.
Working in healthcare used to be solely the realm of healthcare workers, medical staff and allied health workers.
Nowadays engineers have a great impact on the health of our nation.
5 Things Successful Freelancers Do At Networking Events
As an independent contractor or self-employed freelancer, your level of success depends on your ability to create and sustain relationships. The number of clients you have, the stream of work you produce and the revenue you earn are all contingent on the scope of your business network.
The more dedicated and intentional you are about forming quality connections, the more professional growth, impact and advancement you’ll experience. “By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community,” says Sharon Schweitzer, best-selling author and consultant.
And in the freelance and entrepreneur world, the service you’re promoting is ultimately yourself—which makes it even harder. If you’ve ever tried to write a personal bio, you know what I mean. Promoting yourself can be challenging, but successful business owners and freelancers know it’s necessary.
As you attend various networking events to grow your network of potential client and those who can support your efforts, keep these tips in mind.
Come Equipped with Business Cards
Every networking event is a chance to gain new clients. As such, you need to present the most professional version of yourself. That version doesn’t just dress well and act polite—that version of yourself always has business cards too. This gives everyone you meet something to remember you by, while showing that you take your work seriously.
Remember that the design of your cards should not only be polished, with readable text and all the right information. It should reflect your brand and personality as well. Check out these interesting business card ideas to find inspiration and a unique style that matches who you are and the work you do.
Pro tip: Find a way to make your business card actionable or helpful. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you could include a workout on the back of your business card. Not only is this more memorable, but you’re already helping the person who you just met—and you haven’t even done anything yet.
For some people, attending a networking event is stressful. Not only do you have to talk to people you don’t know—but you have to show them that you’re successful and worth connecting with. This is where the fear of personal failure, which was the number one fear among 1,000 Americans polled, can slow you down.
Successful freelancers push this fear aside to present a confident, successful person. To release any personal fears holding you back, use these tips from The Muse:
- Choose “non-lame” events and stick with events you’re excited to attend
- Stop saying “networking,” which makes it feel intimidating
- Volunteer at the event instead of going as an attendee
- Research the roster ahead of time so you know who will be there
- Reward yourself afterward, I.E. “If I give away all my business cards, I’ll…”
- Have conversation starters prepared
- Approach people in pairs, which may feel less intimidating
Pro tip: Practice your power poses before going to a networking event to boost your confidence. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, suggests that standing in these power postures, and using similar body language, boosts your confidence, even when you don’t feel confident. Learn the different power poses in her Ted Talk.
Seek Contacts to Fulfill Specific Needs
One of the many advantages going to a networking event is that it attracts different people with varying degrees of experience, interest and expertise to one place. As a freelancer, this means there are chances to meet a wide variety of people who could help you, from developers for your website to potential business clients.
Successful freelancers define what they’re looking for before they step foot through the door. I.E. a mentor, client, partner, or even just a fellow creative to bounce ideas off. Keep these goals in mind as you build connections at the event and afterward. Global entrepreneur Ted Rollins suggests:
“As these relationships grow, consider how they fit into that burgeoning ‘why.’ Someone could be more valuable in expanding your business, while another person might serve you best in a mentorship role.”
Pro tip: Stay in touch with everyone, even if you don’t need their help right now. This is one of the best times to be in touch with someone because it gives you a chance to help them instead. When the time comes to reach out for a request, you’ve done the work to maintain that relationship over time.
Use the Skill of Active Listening
This interpersonal skill is highly regarded in professional settings because it shows other people that you want to form a reciprocal relationship instead of just a self-serving one. Mind Tools describes an active listener as someone who makes a “conscious effort to hear not only the words another person is saying but, more importantly, to understand the complete message being sent.”
To practice this at a networking event, approach people with an open stance, hold eye contact, remember to smile and use receptive body language—freshen up on receptive body language with this guide from Skills You Need.
Don’t forget to ask questions that start with “Who?” “What?” “How?” and “Why?” The more attentive you are toward someone, the more they’ll trust your motives.
Pro tip: Practice active listening in every area of your life—with your friends, your family and your spouse. Work toward being an active listener, even in the simplest of conversations, so it comes easier to you when it matters most, like when you’re meeting a potential investor or business partner.
Send a Follow-Up Message Promptly
Communication is critical to solidifying your new potential relationships and successful freelancers follow-up within 24 hours. When you do, express your gratitude for their assistance, offer any other relevant information that wasn’t shared in person, and reiterate what a pleasure it was to meet them.
Not only does prompt correspondence keep your name fresh in people’s minds, it establishes you as a genuine individual whom others feel secure doing business with. If the context is appropriate, you can even add personal touches like inquiring about a recent vacation they took or mentioning a common interest you share to express that you’re invested in them relationally.
Feeling uninspired? Check out these follow-up email templates.
Pro tip: After following up via email, connect with anyone that stood out to you on LinkedIn. This is a second chance to remind them of who you are, and once connected, you can casually interact via “liking” posts and commenting. This ensures you stay top of mind and makes it even easier for them to reconnect with you at any point.
Step Into the Networking Arena
Learning how to network effectively is an asset you can take straight to the bank. Move outside your comfort zone, engage with other professionals, and use these pointers to maximize your efforts and form connections that will provide value for many years to come.
BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time freelance writer and self-employed content marketing consultant. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for Virgin, Glassdoor, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.