Many businesses both large and small host a company or corporate Christmas party, these parties are quickly becoming known simply as Holiday Parties, due to the cultural diversity within businesses, in an attempt to minimize religious offense to their employees. So how do you enjoy your office Christmas party without making a spectacle of yourself? Do you avoid drinking from the punch bowl? Do you avoid walking through doorways? Do you avoid the whole party all together, in order to escape the evening free of co-worker conundrums? Keep reading to discover 5 ways of ensuring you won’t be the office gossip tomorrow.
Do you remember last year’s holiday party?
The one where so-and-so were drunk and making out in the boss’s office, or when Sally S. knocked over the Christmas tree? Do you remember Frank trying to kiss everyone under the mistletoe (and trying to cop a feel too)? Maybe it was Jack Smith who is most memorable for getting caught with his butt on the copier, after faxing it to the company’s entire fax directory.
Here’s how you can avoid becoming one of those memories:
No matter where your holiday party or gathering takes place, it’s important to keep your senses. Casual venues are generally a means of offering additional comfort to extended invitees or guests as well as a means of establishing that you should feel more relaxed than if you were working. Just don’t confuse a comfortable atmosphere for “letting it all hang out,” keep in mind that you are a representative of your company when they have selected an alternative venue, even one that includes a full bar. You behavior and conduct during this company event can impact your career in the aftermath.
5 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Spectacle of Your Office Party
- Don’t drink too much! It’s perfectly fine to have a drink or two, you can even visit the buffet or sip water between drinks to level off the effects of alcohol and enjoy your evening much more. This is the biggest single way to avoid being the target of laughter and the laughing spectator instead!
- Wear appropriate clothing. You may want to dress up for the event and that’s fine, just be mindful of your chosen attire. Think along the lines of a nice cocktail dress, something you’d wear to a fundraiser dinner or night at the theater. Avoid the “clubbing” look or Julia Roberts Pretty Woman styled articles of clothing (the ones that are trying like hell to “hang on” to a hanger) in your closet at all costs!
- Don’t Flirt! As an employee, you’re probably not aware of the large number of complaints the human resources department processes as a result of office parties, however the number will continue to rise until people are responsible enough to understand that the term “party” does not mean “go wild,” you’re still at a business function and are expected to retain a professional aire about yourself. If you wouldn’t flirt with another employee at any other time (which is ill-advised by many workplaces), then don’t do it now either!
- Don’t use offensive language. Some people have loose lips away from work, others swear like a truck-driving sailor, the office party is neither the time nor the place for either. Well maybe it’s ok for the last 3 things if you’re in the adult film or entertainment industry, or something similar, but for general population, it’s not advisable to display your frequent use of pornographic, derogatory, or otherwise offensive slurs or innuendos about. Remember still at work-ish!
- When allowed a +1, TAKE SOMEONE! You’d be surprised at how easily you can avoid being the center of attention, or making bad choices out of boredom or peer pressure, when you take a friend that will help you keep the “Tasmanian Devil” under wraps. The things you do with your frat brothers on campus are not things that you want to display at a work party, unless you have a really cool boss or are looking for an easy exit. You’ll have someone that you’re comfortable with that can also assist in passing the time, or getting out of there if things get too boring or on the contrary over the top!
We hope that if you do attend your office holiday party, that you are responsible in your choices before, during, and after the party, including safe travels or alternative arrangements just in case things get a little out of hand.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!