Category Archives: Career

I Didn’t Want to Go To My Office Holiday Party – Here’s Why I Did

T’was the night before Christmas,

And all through the night,

A girl at her workplace,

Was stuck in a fright. 

The party was coming,

She pondered the thought,

If I skip out the party,

Will the boss get me caught?

Holiday season is upon us. And with this season comes workplace obligations! YAY!

I got to thinking about this when I got an email 2 weeks ago notifying us that December 10th was going to be this season’s workplace holiday party at a local bar. Immediate thoughts, “HOW CAN I GET OUT OF THIS”. To be honest, that is my exact reaction to many things in life. I’m working on it. Personal growth is great, right? *cough*

Anyway… Now, I don’t consider myself a holiday grinch, and I definitely do not hate where I work. This is my first season as a full-time employee, with its tangent benefits, perks, and responsibilities. I am unaware of many unsaid workplace political practices, but I go to work every day and I do my job and I do it well.

Those of us who work full-time spend 40+ hours a week with our co-workers, more than we spend with our family, friends, and loved ones. So after work, tired and in need of decompression time, very low on the list of things I want to do is to go to a bar and spend time and mental energy schmoozing with colleagues and wholesalers.

But!

It is essential to your career that you go to your office holiday party.

I will repeat – It will damage your career in the long term to not go to your office holiday party.

Why is this the case? “Where are your sources, Catherine?”, fans scream from the abyss.

Let me let you in on a little secret – the night before my holiday party I did some Googling.

The unambiguous and definitive answer is as follows:

It might be unofficially mandatory. You might think that your company party is an optional treat, but many managers take note of who does and doesn’t attend—and will penalize those who don’t, either subtly or openly. Even managers who claim the parties are truly optional do care at some level if you don’t show up, so you’re generally wise to assume that this might be a professional obligation like any other.” [1]

“The holiday party, invitations to spend time with your boss outside of work, and other similar occasions are extremely important because they are a chance to form an emotional connection with the people you are working with. This connection is arguably more important than the professional connection. The emotional connection will take you farther and will last longer than any other sort of connection. Avoid holiday parties and other occasions to form emotional connections with your coworkers and superiors at your own risk.” [2]

“Holiday parties, company picnics, and the like are allegedly not mandatory events. In reality, they’re quite mandatory.

Here’s the reality:

Company events are a huge part of the culture of any company.[3]

The interwebs have spoken, but from the loved ones in my life who I asked for advice, here are some more reasons why you need to go to your office holiday party.

1. Your boss is always watching, whether you think so or not.

2. The most important capital at your disposal in the workplace is your personal capital. The relationships you build at the beginning of your career can be important to furthering your career. So make an appearance, even if you stay just one hour.

3. You never know who you are going to meet when you leave your comfort zone.

4. It will reflect negatively on you to not at least appear to be making an effort to join your company culture.

I am pleased to announce that I did a really hard thing this week (for me at least). I went to my company holiday party. I stayed two whole hours.

So don’t make a mistake that you will regret. Don’t make the social faux pax of ditching your company holiday party. It’s a blip on the radar of your life, so in the words of Nike – “Just do it.”

I’m happy I did.

What I Did This Week to Increase My Long Term Earning Potential

There are only two ways to get rich in my estimation.

  1. The one-two: Spend less than you earn and invest the rest
  2. Win the lottery

For most of us the the second option will never be but a pipe dream, but for all of us the first option is feasible. I’ve been thinking about ways lately to increase my income, from starting this blog to scouting  job opportunities at other companies. But honestly, I like where I work. I don’t hate it!

I work with MONEY in the financial sector under a Financial Advisor who I respect and who I can see myself working for for a long time. Within a year of being hired as the receptionist at a New York branch, I passed both the Series 7 and the Series 66 tests. I was promoted to the position of Registered Client Services Associate and negotiated a 21% salary increase at my first 6-month review.  In addition, I’m currently enrolled in a Certified Financial Planner program at an online university and am slated to take the July of 2016 test. These are all things to be proud of, but I want to think bigger.

If you let your mind wander to your greatest dream, where does it fall? What kind of life do you want to live?

Working in the financial sector I see people with all sorts of money; money they’ve inherited, money they’ve earned, money they spend or save to varying measures of extremes. I see people with the type of fuck you money that I dream of making. But what strikes me every day is how much earning potential is within each of us. Every minute of every day we have the potential to make money, whether by making our money work for us in the stock market, or through creating a side hustle, or through taking steps to climb the ladder and advance our careers.

It’s that last step that I am particularly

Pleased! to! Announce!

I took this week.

Let me set the stage.

One month ago my boss forwarded me an email about an opportunity he thought I might like. It was an application to serve on a National Board of Client Associates. We would get to preview upcoming service, process, or technology projects from various Home Office groups and be among the only in the country to provide feedback in the beta testing stages.

The email read, “This is a great opportunity for licensees to recognize their top Client Associates and reward these talented individuals.”

He wanted me to apply, he wanted me to apply.

Me?

I have under one year of experience in the industry, I thought, they will never take me. Why would I apply if I will just get rejected? This and other various form of negative self-talk looped in my head until they had already rejected me. Boom, it was over before it began. No skin off my back, right?

Wrong.

It wasn’t until this Friday that I realized what I had done to myself. And the deadline was now fast approaching.

So I stepped into the vulnerability and I said fuck you to the fear of rejection, and I sat my ass down and wrote until I had completed the full application to the National Board. But it was hard. It was hard to change the narrative to “Why NOT me?”

I handed my rough draft to my boss with all sorts of disclaimers.

“It’s just a rough draft you can write all over it”

“It might be awful just tell me if it is”

I honestly expected him to make corrections or say it wasn’t good in certain sections. Do you all see the pattern with my thinking? I do. When he came back, and I’m not kidding you, with not one mark or correction on that page, he said, “This is  perfect, I love how it reads. They’re going to want you Catherine, I will definitely be getting a call about you. And they’re going to love that you’re 22, they need a millennial’s perspective. You are exactly what they are looking for.

After two more proofreaders had the same reaction, I was floored and I was proud. And now I goddamn want it.

But whether or not I get accepted to the position, at least I took the shot, and that’s what I want readers to take away from this article. The cliche is a cliche for a reason. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

This will have an effect on your finances in life, whether it be from letting fear stop you from investing in the stock market, or from not taking to opportunity to pursue leadership positions in your company even in the face of failure.

Now I’ve gotta stop before I start throwing cliches at you.

So, what is one thing you can do in the next week to increase your earning potential?