On raises, holiday parties, and more…

December 13, 2007, 6:15 PM UTC

We’re going to be talking compensation for the next few days since this is the time many of us start to think about ’08  raises — and, more importantly, how to ask for them. To begin, check out our new video, “Asking for your first raise.” (And before anyone says a word, I was channeling my inner librarian that day ;o).

Speaking of video, I  spent some time at a company event the other day where it seemed like everyone had watched our little off-the-cuff holiday party piece. And aside from the good-natured teasing, quite a few people asked if office holiday parties were really the right place to talk about work. I must confess that this made me smile; all anybody ever wants to talk about at these things is work. (Unless of course, they’re sauced, which is an entirely different problem.) So why not make it constructive, instead of the venting session that it usually turns out to be?

And let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting anyone accost the boss in the bathroom with a five-year plan and compensation demands. Only that, given that you’ll be spending a few hours at a work event with coworkers who will inevitably bring up work anyway, it might not be such a bad idea to have a few casual agenda items of your own.

As many an executive can attest, more real work — of the relationship-building, decision-making kind — gets done after-hours than in the office. And the holiday party is no different. At the very least, this way you’re far less likely to end up like some of the people in this recent MSNBC story, “Holiday parties hold peril for unwary workers.” Enough said.