10 Tips for the Office Holiday Party

It’s time for the office holiday party.  Are you ready?  Before you put on your Santa hat, check out these ten tips to make sure that you survive the party and that you still have a job in the morning:

1.  Make an effort to attend.  Yes, you have to go.  Nothing says, “I don’t care about my coworkers” louder than blowing off the staff party.

2.  Don’t drink too much.  This cannot be emphasized enough.  After a few drinks, your inhibitions are lowered and you may say or do something embarrassing or inappropriate.  Following that performance, your coworkers may never look at you in the same way.

3.  Try to have fun.  Come to the party ready with a positive attitude.  Participate in the activities, talk to people, and smile.  Don’t just sit at the table looking like you would rather be somewhere else.

4.  Try to connect with new people.  Resist the temptation to surround yourself with your usual posse.  Reach out and talk to people that you don’t know very well.  The holiday party is a great opportunity to build new relationships.

5.  Don’t forget that it is a work event.  Have fun, but don’t have too much fun.  Remember that you will have to account for your behaviour on Monday morning.

6.  Dress appropriately.  Find out the dress code for the event and plan your outfit accordingly.  This is not the occasion to bring out your sexy red dress.  Be festive, but also conservative.

7.  Don’t be the first to leave, but don’t be the last to leave.  You don’t want to look like you’ve been watching the clock, but you don’t want to close the place down either.  Follow your coworkers’ lead.

8. Go to work the next day.  Unless you are genuinely sick, show up for  work.  If you take a sick day, everyone will think that you had too much fun at the party!

9.  Resist the office romance.  The holiday party is the perfect opportunity to profess your undying love to your coworker, right?  WRONG!  An office romance is almost always a bad career move.  Try to find a soul mate outside of work, and if you must romantically pursue your coworker, be very careful and do it on your own time.

10.  Don’t talk about work.  Nobody wants to hang out with the person who talks business at a party.  Keep the atmosphere festive by avoiding the shop talk.

The office holiday party is one of the few occasions where you have the opportunity to interact with your coworkers socially.  If you follow these tips, you will not only avoid embarrassment, but you will dazzle your manager with your professionalism, and you will build your relationship with your colleagues.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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