Tips for Navigating the Office Holiday Party
Tis the Season to Avoid Making a Fool of Yourself at the Office Holiday Party
by Stephanie Losee and Helaine Olen, the authors of Office Mate
1. Don't indicate your interest in a colleague at the office Holiday party.
An average happy hour on an average Friday night when the work gang heads to a bar together is a much better time. The entire firm isn't present. And if you're rejected, you can leave.
2. That goes double for your boss. No, triple.
Your boss is there to relax with colleagues, not fend off requests for raises or juicy assignments or-heaven forbid-advances from a subordinate who has decided the time is right to reveal a long-simmering crush.
3. Don't dress sexy.
There's no conceivable benefit to showing more flesh than you would on any other day. Dress up; don't wear a neckline that's, well, down.
4. Know your booze limit.
Getting looped at the office Holiday party lends itself to certain behaviors. Meaning misbehaviors. Who wants to worry about what people are thinking come Monday morning?
5. Don't view the office Holiday party as a free date with your office mate.
If you're dating someone at the office, don't take the holiday party as an opportunity to go out on the town together for free. Talk to your colleagues. Smile at your boss. Make small conversation. Don't dance together.
6. No PDA on the dance floor.
Making out in full view of your colleagues and your boss is too juvenile for words. Don't go there.
7. Mingle with people other than the members of your usual office gang.
If there is one professional or personal objective you can accomplish at the office holiday party, it's to take advantage of the opportunity to chat with someone new. Maybe you'll meet a future partner. At the very least, you'll expand your professional network.
8. Don't go home with a co-worker.
Your career is at stake here. The office is a great place to meet your partner in life. Not a sex partner of the one-night variety.
9. Remember that you are still at work even though the scenery has changed. Act like the professional you are and be on your best behavior. The office Holiday party is no less a work event than the meeting you attended at 3pm.
10. Don't be the last one to leave. Be an adult. Dress beautifully but demurely, stop drinking after you've downed half of whatever someone hands you when you walk in the door. Don't close down the place.