The Importance of Looking After Your Personal Brand this Christmas, New Year and Beyond...

The Christmas season is upon us once again and so begins the staff parties, Christmas drinks and New Years celebrations. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and that is reason enough to celebrate! The many events that surround Christmas and the New Year could be the perfect opportunity to showcase your personal brand.

You should enjoy yourself at these events; it is a celebration after all! Be positive and spread good Christmas cheer amongst your colleagues and friends, as they will remember you in the New Year.

While staff parties are intended as social events to reward employees for their hard work, they remain strictly business events.

Don't skip a party, as it displays disrespect for the hosts of the events, whether they be your peers, friends or colleagues. The hosts have been kind enough to extend an invitation to you, by attending the event you will display respect, commitment and kindness. Unless you have justifiable conflict, showing up is a must! When you do attend, spend at least an hour at the party for your future strategic relationships. Remember that not attending could hurt your reputation, but partying until the wee hours could hurt it more.

Keeping all conversations positive maintains the impact of your personal brand. Don't spend the event complaining, bragging, whining or ridiculing. Avoid controversial subjects. Remember; people won't remember the specifics of what you said; they will remember how you made them feel.

Ask the host of the event what the dress code is (if it does not appear on your invitation) and stick to it. Conservative clothes are always a good choice! Keep it professional and fun. What you wear is a direct representation of your personal brand. Dressing for success is about reflecting your authentic self. Your clothes should communicate the essential stuff that makes you you at a glance. Dress tastefully and your peers will instantly perceive you as professional.

Events around Christmas and the New Year are great opportunities to spread the goodwill of your personal brand. It is a great time to catch up with friends, colleagues and employers. Be careful not to turn these catch-ups into gossiping sessions because this is not how you want to be perceived by your peers.

Staff parties are a perfect time to get to know your colleagues! Use these events as an opportunity to rub elbows with the executives from your company. In a social environment they are more open to talk. Introduce yourself on a personal level and ask about hobbies and interests. This is a key opportunity, take advantage of it.

Drink plenty of water at these events. The weather is warmer and alcohol is dehydrating. Drinking too much is the most damaging thing you can do to your personal brand, especially at a work event. Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage and set a limit. You can always go for a social drink with friends afterwards. By doing this you will ensure that your relationship with alcohol doesn't define your personal brand. Remember, there are so many more aspects of you to showcase!

Finally, don't forget to thank your hosts for their planning and coordination of the party. Sending a thank you card is a sure way to help you gain notice and be appreciated.

These tips are not only applicable to the Christmas and New Year season. By following these simple guidelines at events throughout the year you can enhance and protect your personal brand and will perceived by your friends, colleagues and employers as professional and confident.