5 Rules to Remember at Your Office Holiday Party

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Enjoying in a red wine at Christmas office party.

Holiday parties are a great way for companies to thank their employees for a year of hard work. I’ve always appreciated the gesture, and the opportunity to spend time with colleagues away from the pressures of the office. Of course, there are a million ways for an office party to go off the rails. A manager has a few too many drinks. A supervisor cracks an off-color joke. An executive gets hands-y. Nobody wants to be THAT GUY, or THAT GIRL. You want to be the smart, sugar coated cookie who shakes all the right hands, says all of the right things, and leaves before things get ugly. So without further ado, here are five rules to remember at your office holiday party!

Dress appropriately. This one should really be a no-brainer, but I have been to one too many parties where common sense has clearly left the building. Don’t be a dunce. You know if your company is keeping it casual, or expecting you to clean up a little bit for the big bash. Keep it classy and professional whether you’re a lady or gent. Err on the side of conservative, and save the sequins and ugly Christmas sweaters for friends.

Keep the conversation light. Everybody at the party is there to have a good time. Stay away from topics that can stress people out. Nobody wants to discuss the fact that the company missed third quarter revenue expectations, or the admin who got fired without severance pay three days ago. Also, this is not the time to hit up your boss for a raise or a bonus. First of all, it’s just bad form.  Bosses are people too, and they’re entitled to enjoy themselves as much as everybody else in attendance. And more to the point, your fate was likely sealed weeks before you arrived at this shindig. Let it go, and go drown your sorrows in the raw bar. Ooooh…shrimp.

Lay off the booze. There might be an open bar there, but that doesn’t signal an alcohol fueled free for all. Have one or two drinks, max. Drink lots of water, eat plenty of food, and – of course – don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. Call a cab!

Keep your hands to yourself. If you’re single, repeat after us. These are your co-workers. They are not your friends. There is nobody at this party who wants to go out on a date with you. Go home by yourself. Get in bed by yourself. You will thanks us for this later. And actually, you can chant this mantra if you’re spoken for as well. Especially if you’re spoken for!

Say thank you! That party didn’t make itself. Taking your annual bash for granted is really, really lame. On the way out, find the person or people responsible, thank them for a great night, and then make a clean and sober exit.