Every now and then, in the rarest of occasions, you will be invited to one of your spouses work events. And not just any work event, but a work dinner. There are some of you that are completely fine in these situations, and for those of you who are, I applaud you, but for those of you who are like me, you don’t know how to act in those situations. Do you sit there quietly and look pretty? Do you contribute as much as everyone else or chime in with the “oh yeah I totally agree!”. Well here are my tips and tricks on how to handle these situations! But first, story time!
Last week I was invited by Dylan’s work to go to a special dinner because they had just closed a deal and signed a contract with some partners. In total there were 8 of us there and it ended up being a great time! Also, for those of you who are wondering, we ate at Julian Serrano inside the Aria hotel. At the beginning of everything, I didn’t know how professional I needed to be, how much to interject or give my point of view, honestly, I didn’t know much about all of Dylan’s coworkers either. However, as the night went on, I began to feel more comfortable as we started eating, I shared a little about myself, listened to learn about everyone else. And more, that being said, this is what I wish I did/knew before going:
1. Ask your spouse about who is going to be there, their personalities likes and dislikes and anything else that you may want to know. Your spouse may tell you about his day at work and stuff they talk and joke about, but that doesn’t mean you know and you can’t assume your spouse knows you want to know.
2. Don’t feel that just because you were invited you are supposed to sit there and look pretty, absolutely not! Unless it is a dinner that leads up to a potential contract signing, talk away and get to know everyone! A spouse can actually make a company fall in love with their employee even more because they are fun and exciting and will want to keep them there and go out more!
3. Look for situations that you are knowledgeable on, for example, you ate a Hispanic restaurant and, me being Mexican, Dylan’s boss started asking me a lot of questions about dishes, differences and we ended up getting along really well.
4. Find any way to complement the company or organization that is there with your spouse’s company. However, you need to make it natural and you can’t do it every second, just enough to let them know you are paying attention and show you are interested.
5. Remember, even though you may not be an employee, you are still representing your spouse’s company by extension, don’t think you’re off the hook for anything you may say or do, it is still a PR moment for everyone.
Hopefully, this helps you and gives you a better direction if you are ever at a business dinner with your spouse! If you have had any specific experiences or advice let me know, I always want to hear a good story or get advice!