It’s the time of year where our clients will often have pot luck lunches as a way to celebrate the holidays. As a traveling consultant, I don’t have the resources to bake a cake or make Mom’s famous meatballs. So the question is, if I don’t have anything to bring…do I have to participate? Yes, you do.
Like it or not, you really do have to make an appearence and bring something. I usually volunteer to bring the drinks, a few bottles of 2 liter sodas is easy to pick up. What about paper plates and utensils, also pretty easy to pick up. Not too hard to find a local bakery to bring cookies or cupcakes either. Just because you don’t have a kitchen to cook, doesn’t mean you can’t bring something. And don’t expense what you bring, that is just tacky.
Office parties are a great way to network with full time employees, your project manager, and other consultants. So although you may feel like you are not part of the team being a consultant, if you were invited…they think you are part of the team. Not showing up would be considered rude and might generate a negative reaction from your colleagues. Take a few minutes the night before and stop at the grocery store. Be creative and show up with your holiday smile.