Why is it that with one single flip of the calendar page some people turn silly? The quiet guy in IT; geez, can he throw back those beers. That woman in marketing; seems a little too flirty, yes? I don’t have to go on do I? We all know these stories and now, with everyone wielding a smartphone camera, we’ve seen the photos too.
At its best the office holiday party presents employees with an opportunity to socialize with their co-workers and their superiors and share an enjoyable experience. At its worst it is a cause for embarrassment and will be an office story that will be handed down for years and years to come.
Here are 5 office holiday party tips to make sure that your celebration “experience” is a good one:
1) Sure it’s a party but remember that not all party clothes are suitable for an office party. If you’re a woman, draw a firm line in the sand between hot and funeral-like and don’t show up in attire that is simply too revealing and sexy. As for men, find out what other men are wearing. Will you be conspicuous if you arrive wearing khakis versus a suit and tie?
2) Drinking to excess is not only a bad idea, it can derail your career at the company. We know the party is a time to kick back and celebrate the year but if you must drink at all, do so in moderation. Don’t kid yourself, even if you feel that you can stay in control regardless of how much you have to drink, your colleagues and superiors are watching you put them away and questioning your judgment.
3) Work the room. This is a terrific opportunity to chat up some of the people that you’ve never met before. Don’t spend the entire party talking with your own department. You’ll see them tomorrow. This is the time to make some new friends at the company.
4) There is no such thing as “fashionably late” for the office holiday party. Arrive on time (just like you do when you go to work!). Once again your behavior is being observed and your reputation is at stake.
5) Have fun. No really, have fun. Standing around looking lost and sullen makes people uncomfortable and this is a holiday party after all. Don’t assume the worst, be open-minded and smile.
In just a few more weeks it will be 2015. The holiday party will be a thing of the past but if handled correctly the happy memories of the event should linger on. Enjoy!