In many ways, Halloween isn’t just for kids. It’s a holiday that reaches across ages, genders, and cultures to give everyone a day to have fun and escape the mundane. It’s such a big holiday, the National Retail Federation is expecting Americans to spend nearly $8 billion in 2012 on Halloween décor, candy, and costumes. Naturally, this celebration usually makes its way into the workplace.
Every employer is different and will have different ideas and viewpoints on how to celebrate Halloween. If your company does have a yearly Halloween get-together or allows costumes during the workday, it can be a great opportunity to build a better relationship with co-workers and stand out among management. As long as you dress and act appropriately, doors of opportunity can open for you. Here is how enjoying the Halloween fun can help your career.
Let Down Your Hair
Barbara Morris, founder of the software company Laser Image, is a strong supporter of celebrating Halloween at work. Last year, she was astonished when one of her very quiet, hardworking, and introverted employees dressed up as Michael Jackson and began to sing during the company costume competition. Her opinion of that employee drastically changed and she soon promoted the employee to senior project director.
While this is an extreme example, it does help prove that participating in fun employer events can demonstrate that you’re a team player and investing in the organization. Most managers see you with a serious work face and rarely get to see the relaxed, fun side of you, which shows them you’re a well-rounded employee.
Think Outside the Box
Maybe your job is very mechanical or procedural. Even if your workday doesn’t give you the opportunity to change or try new things, Halloween can give you a chance to demonstrate your creativity and critical thinking. If you can turn some heads – respectfully and tastefully – you can get plenty of networking opportunities with senior leadership who heard about an employee’s funny, different, or outstanding costume. Your co-workers and supervisors will see you using skills they might not know you had.
Even if your employer doesn’t officially recognize Halloween and doesn’t allow dressing up for any reason, there are ways you can demonstrate your creativity and skills not normally seen. Just because you can’t dress up, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your workspace a little more spooktacular, which can increase traffic and exposure of you and your area.
The Other Side of the Coin
Managers won’t be the only ones who will notice your other side. Having fun with co-workers can give you a chance to connect and see other sides of them you haven’t seen before. Halloween festivities let you and co-workers see each other laughing and joking, which often helps you realize there are real people behind what you see typically at work. This kind of socializing can also help ease tension and stress from work, and help you and your team members be more productive.
There are several benefits to putting on a silly costume and having a little fun at work once a year. As long as you remain professional and courteous, celebrating Halloween at the office can improve teamwork and can help you build your career. What are some of your favorite Halloween workplace memories? Share them with some photos, and we’ll feature them on the blog!