Many a career has been ruined at the office holiday party. We’ve all heard the horror stories – some unbelievable, some funny and some very sad. While you may be encouraged to have a good time and let loose you should be mindful that this is a business function and all the rules of conduct that normally apply at the office also apply at the party. How you conduct yourself is noticed especially by management. While people may not know your name they will remember your face and how you acted. You want to ensure you are memorable for the right reasons not the wrong reasons.
Don’t skip the party
Always attend the office holiday party, because it is a business function and attendance is mandatory. Trust me, management will notice if you don’t attend and it will make you look like you’re not a team player. Even if you have another commitment, at least make an appearance for 30 minutes.
Mingle & socialize
The holiday party is the ideal time to mix, mingle and network. It’s the opportune time to get to know others in your office and senior management.
Limit business talk
It’s inevitable that there will be some business talk, but don’t be labeled as the boring person who spent the entire evening talking about business. Come prepared to talk about other things such as what your plans are for the holiday, your children, pets, hobbies, recent movies and even share a few funny stories. It’s the holiday season so be positive in your conversations and avoid any negativity. As tempting as it may be don’t gossip, especially about your colleagues.
The 2 drink limit
You never want to get drunk and make a fool of yourself. Many people are reprimanded and fired due to their actions at the holiday party. To ensure you don’t get drunk; eat before you go, have a glass of water or club soda after each drink and water down your drinks with lots of ice.
Don’t flirt or hit on others
This is usually the result of drinking too much. We’ve all heard the story of the employee who hit on the boss’s spouse. You don’t want to be part of a sexual harassment case.
Find out what the dress code is. Skip anything too revealing or flashy. Remember this is a business event. You don’t want people saying, “ Did you see what they wore” Err on the conservative side.
If you are bringing your significant other or date make sure they know how to dress and what is expected of them. It’s equally important that your date dresses and acts appropriately.
Thank the host and organizers
Try to thank both the host and organizers before you leave, or send an email or thank you note the next day. Don’t take the party for granted as a lot of time and money is spent. Your appreciation will not be forgotten.