The office holiday party just might be the most important event of the year for your career! Here are some useful tips to make it count this Holiday Season…
Now that the economy is back to normal, holiday parties are back in vogue. Inc. magazine published a great guide to do’s and don’ts for your own holiday party. Take heed, and have fun!
1. Don’t skip your own office holiday party.
Like many of us, a natural reaction to an office party is, “Count me out!” However, holiday parties offer a great PR opportunity. Your absence does nothing for your career, and may even harm it. So, if you can help it, don’t miss it!
2. Don’t dress inappropriately.
Ever go to an office party to discover some of your coworkers have taken this opportunity to wear a way-t00-skimpy dress, or nightclub attire? It’s best for your career to dress up, but not too racy, too informal or too New Year’s Eve. Keep it in the zone!
3. Bringing someone? Brief them first!
The basic rule is, whatever your party guest says or does is going to reflect on you! Make sure to inform him or her of things never to say, and to whom, and to keep any alcoholic consumption or uncalled-for behavior in check. If you have any doubts that your guest can’t keep it together, please do not bring this person!
4. Don’t drink too much.
If there ever were a time not to drink too much, this would be it! Too much alcohol can be a job-ender, a sign you really can’t keep yourself under control. You might just say the wrong things to the wrong people, and we surely don’t want that!
5. Don’t look bored.
Look sharp, alert, interested, positive. After all, you never know who might be taking notes on your behavior!
6. Don’t be anti-social.
In this era of surfing, texting and emailing, don’t get sucked in to staring at your phone all night. Holiday parties are all about face-to-face socializing. Meet coworkers you didn’t know. Commiserate with those closest to you. Mix it up with your superiors.
7. Busy bodies lose at the holiday party.
Even just a little alcohol makes it harder to resist badmouthing or gossiping about coworkers. On the contrary, at this event, everything you say should be positive, flattering and compelling. No one likes a “Debbie Downer” (or “Donny Downer”) at the last party of the year.
8. Don’t go in without a plan.
The Inc. article cleverly quotes our old friend, Voltaire, who said, “One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say.”
Think about whom you will be speaking with at the party, and what you’ll say to them. How much alcohol do you plan to have? What will you wear?
If your plan is to chat with a top manager, think of some great comments and questions ahead of time.
Finally, get caught up with current events and hot issues before the party, in case someone important asks you.
9. “Eat, Santa, eat!”
As anyone who’s experimented with alcohol knows, it’s better to eat and drink water before the alcohol, to prevent it all from rushing to your brain.
And if you do imbibe at the party, please limit yourself to one or two glasses of wine.
10. Don’t flirt.
This is not the time to hit on your boss, or his spouse.
Sometimes liquid courage gets the best of us–so stay away from alcohol if you don’t think you can control yourself while under the influence.
11. Don’t post photos or comments that could get you in trouble.
Avoid posting negative comments to social media about how “lame” the party was, or how much the food “sucked.” Also, do not post photos of your colleagues taking shots or engaging in other inappropriate behavior.
12. Don’t embarrass yourself.
Saying foolish things, acting like a clown, drinking too much — it all adds up to lower bonuses, fewer promotions and possible manpower reductions (if you know what we mean). Look for opportunities to seem in control, intelligent and worthy of your job.
13. Remember your hosts.
Once things start to die down at the party, and you decide it’s the right time to leave the premises, don’t forget to thank the people who were responsible for throwing the party (unless you were the ones who threw the party.) If you forget, make sure to drop the person an email the next day.
So there you have it, 13 great ways to preserve, and yes, improve, your reputation at the office holiday party. Happy Holidays!