|Although these informal gatherings can seem to be rather meaningless, attending them can be quite meaningful. However, you need to apply a standard of reasonableness. |
For example, if you are deeply involved in a key project, skip the get-together or just make a brief appearance. And, do not feel compelled to attend every single gathering, particularly if they have evolved into a far-too-frequent ritual: "Hey everyone, it's Lindsay's half-birthday! Party at 3:00!"
Attending these gatherings has a number of advantages. They can provide you with increased opportunities to learn, network, and promote yourself, particularly if you can use them to demonstrate some leadership, creativity, or communication skills. In addition, management in many companies is placing increased emphasis on teamwork, and attending such gatherings not only signals to management that you are a team player, but also lets you build stronger relations with your associates.
Although you may be busy, it is important to remember that these parties are often more than fun and games.