With its booze, year-long pent-up emotions towards co-workers, the specter of organizational politics, various inter-office rivalries and the "secret" cubicle farm romance everyone knows about, the annual company holiday party has all the explosive potential of an open fire in a dynamite factory.
That hasn’t slowed the party train yet. New data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement consulting organization, indicates more companies are holding holiday celebrations this year. Despite economic uncertainty, 72.4% are planning to party in 2012 vs. only 67.9% last year.
Any gathering that mixes free alcohol with people at all points on the organizational chart is inherently fraught with potential for CLMs (career-limiting-moves). A healthy dose of self-awareness, a plan, and the willingness to go beyond your comfort-zone -- in the right direction -- can turn a fraught forum into an opportunity to push your career to new heights.