By Court Wiekenkamp
Court is a Senior Client Partner at Clarity Recruitment and our go-to expert on networking, work-place etiquette and professionalism.
Company events offer accountants a great opportunity to network internally. You can meet employees from other departments, strengthen cross-functional relationships, and reinforce the finance department’s reputation as a valued business partner. But as with any public event, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do. Consider these tips for how to behave at company functions:
1) Be punctual and dress appropriately
While it may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to show up on time for company events. This is especially true if there are business updates being shared or guest speakers. More importantly, your punctuality reflects your interest and commitment to the organization. At the same time, dressing appropriately is also key. Remember, this is a work event: unless otherwise noted in the invitation, always maintain a certain level of professionalism in your attire.
2) Never drink too much
Enjoying a cocktail with coworkers and senior management during a company event is a great opportunity to build relationships and get to know people outside of the office. As an accountant, it’s your chance to socialize with people you may not get to see on a day-to-day basis. However, indulging too much can be a disaster. Limit yourself to a drink or two (max!).
3) Always be positive
Every company has its pros and cons, but a business event is definitely not the time to discuss them. Airing negative opinions about your accounting job or organization should never happen within ears-shot of other employees. Even if you trust your work-place confidant, you never know who might overhear your conversation. Your best course of action? Leave the critiques and venting at home.
4) Go out of your way to meet people
I know, I know…it’s easier to hang out with other accountants, or in your usual finance circle. Besides, who else can you talk to about year-end deadlines? But pushing yourself to talk with other people is one of your biggest opportunities at company events. Building relationships with management and cross-functional employees is extremely important and easy to do in these settings. As an accountant, if you have a reputation for producing quality work and you make the effort to build and strengthen relationships, you are more likely to reap the rewards in the form of new projects, promotions or job offers.
5) Show your appreciation
If the opportunity presents itself, it is always a good idea to show your appreciation and thank the person or people who hosted the event. For example, if you work in a small to medium sized company, definitely take the time to thank the top dog (or whoever is picking up the tab).
As a member of a professional organization, it is essential to your accounting or finance career that you take the time to participate in company events. Be mindful of the tips above and if nothing else, simply relax and try to enjoy yourself.
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.