It’s been a tough year or maybe it’s even been one of your better ones. It’s the festive season and it’s time to let your hair down, right? Wrong! This is the time to have fun, that’s true, but when it comes to office Christmas parties there’s still a level of decorum that you should follow.
The last thing you want to do is make a fool of yourself and tarnish all the hard work you’ve done so far. You want to be remembered at work for your achievements and not for your ability to dance on tables in your high heels or for drunkenly groping the director’s secretary! If you’re worried that you may let go a bit too much, here are a few simple rules to follow to make sure you don’t go to extremes:
- Come to the party
While the idea of an office Christmas party, lunch or dinner may make your stomach flip it’s still important that you show up (in good time). Make sure you are in the right frame of mind when you do. It’s a good time to socialise and meet your colleagues in a casual setting. Talk to people, network – this may all help in progressing your career.
- Make sure you dress appropriately
Find out what the dress code is. If it’s a smart event and you turn up in jeans it will result in you suffering awkwardness for the rest of the evening. If you’re a woman try to find an outfit that’s a compromise between smart and sexy – dressing like Beyonce at your work function will probably not be a good idea – unless maybe, it’s a dress up theme. But even then, curb your enthusiasm!
- Enjoy drinks – but in moderation
We’ve all heard stories of that particular staff member that took advantage of the free and flowing booze. Don’t be that person that everyone talks about for years to come because you let yourself go too much and drank the cocktails like they were soda drinks. In extreme cases, your employer could take disciplinary action if your antics were really bad. According to experts, conduct at the Christmas party (even if it’s done off site) is still considered as bad behavior at the workplace. So, drink in moderation!
- Don’t get trapped by the gossip
Let’s face it, we all know who the office chatterboxes are. If you’re the one that likes a good chin wag about a colleague, then try to hold of doing so at the office Christmas party. You never know who might be listening in or whose loyalties lie where. It’s best to network like a pro and keep things civil. And if you find you’re having far too many drinks rather leave the party at a respectable time in case you land yourself into trouble.
- Don’t flirt
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a crush on Anne from sales or Peter from the delivery room. The office party environment is hardly the place or time to make such feelings known. Don’t make remarks that could be taken the wrong way and don’t touch! If you’re unsure of how to interact rather avoid an embarrassing situation and keep things to just a handshake and a smile.