December is the month when we can afford ourselves the luxury of slowing down, especially in established corporate sectors where company parties, reviewing the year and planning for the next takes centre stage.
If you have been too wrapped up in projects over the year, this is the perfect time to touch base with colleagues and integrate back into the office social circles.
And if just touching base feels too arbitrary, there are ways you can actually use this time to get some insights into not only your workplace but your industry and career. There are also ways, though to ensure you do not get caught up in any infighting within the social circles.
If there is someone at work with whom you have conversations on career paths or workplace challenges that you have not talked with in a while, reach out to them. Ask that you meet up for coffee away from office to touch base before the year ends.
The office is a complex system and when you throw in politics, it is easy to feel alone. Having a few people you can talk to without fear of any malicious intent is especially important for women as it allows for conversations regarding how to navigate the workplace.
Manage unofficial communication
The holidays tend to be the times when most people feel unrestrained by norms and are tempted to share, and sometimes overshare information. The workplace rumor mill is active and while not all rumors are malicious, the last thing you want to be caught in is between a ‘he said/she said’ situation.
Avoid repeating what you hear about especially if it can potentially damage someone’s reputation or standing at work. In most cases, something you say to someone else will be attributed to you when it is reported.
Even if you’re worried about say, impending lay-offs that you heard about, resist the urge to confide in someone at work, if you must speak to a friend you can trust who has no links to your office to avoid potential panic.