November 30, 2014

6 Things Not To Do At The Office Holiday Party

Office holiday parties are an annual tradition. Almost every office plans an office holiday party sometime between Black Friday and the New Year. It’s a fun way to celebrate another year on the books.

Some people dread the holiday office party. Others roll their eyes. If you’re office is having a party be sure to go. It’s a fun time to hang out with co-workers, relax, get a free meal, have a few free drinks, and celebrate the holidays. Plus, if you don’t go, you’re boss will know.

The most important thing about the office holiday party is to be on your best behavior. It’s easy to get a bit sloppy or quickly regret what you’ve said. Remember – just because you’re at an office holiday party, doesn’t mean your not at work.

When you’re gearing up for the annual office holiday party, there are a few things that you don’t want to do:

  1. Don’t Forget Where You Are – Whatever happens don’t get too drunk. Drinking is okay, but keep a close tap on how much you drink. Dancing on the tables, running your mouth, or driving home can directly impact your career. Even if the food and drink are free, monitor your consumption. Be sure to eat a big meal and know when it’s time to leave. If you do make a fool of yourself, it might mean you’re looking for a new job in the New Year.
  2. Don’t Get Cornered – Mingle with lots of people. Have a handful of conversation starters ready to go. Make sure you show a little face time with a lot of people. It’s kind of like a networking event. Avoid being a wallflower or only talking to your favorite water cooler buddies. Spread the holiday cheer with everyone. Make a positive impression so your co-workers don’t hate you.
  3. Don’t Wear Inappropriate Clothing – A party often means you can relax the wardrobe. A good general rule is if you can’t wear it to the office on a Monday, don’t wear it to the office holiday party.
  4. Don’t Miss Out On An Opportunity – If you’ve been dying to chat with that Senior VP down the hall, do it. This is your big chance to get a bit of face time with the office big wigs. Show them that you’re an interesting person, then the next time you see them in the elevator or on the town, it’ll be easier to say hi.
  5. Don’t Talk About Work – When you’re surrounded by co-workers that you might not know very well, it’s easy to talk about the latest office memo or an upcoming project, but try to avoid this chitchat. You can talk shop in the office. Try to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level through genuine conversation. One funny office holiday party website featured the quote, “The office holiday party is a great place to meet everyone you’ve been emailing from 10 feet away.” It’s true, get to know people. It will help you get ahead later.
  6. Don’t Forget To Say Thank You – Before you head out the door at the end of the night, be sure to thank your supervisor directly for throwing you a cool office holiday party. A little thanks you can go a long ways.

Who knows, maybe you can even use the office holiday party to boost your career. We have a few tips on that too! Be on your best behavior this office holiday party season. A little bit of office holiday party etiquette can go a long ways for your career.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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