The Office Holiday Party

Office holiday parties… they are either much anticipated or much dreaded depending on your office and your personality. Here are a few tips for your upcoming festivities:

1. Don’t drink too much.   While you definitely want to have fun and relax at a holiday party, don’t be “that guy.”  Especially in a world of smart phones where your drunken antics can live on in perpetuity.

2. Be prepared to talk to the CEO.  Office parties can break down barriers to speaking to upper level management. If you chat with the CEO or VP what are some highlights of your work that you want them to know about but are still “light enough” for a holiday party?  In other words, toast to a success but don’t bring up a meaty issue.

3. Stay a while.  Networking is important even within the workplace.  And being social is part of that. If you can stay for a while and/or continue the celebration with colleagues, take advantage of the opportunity to get to know people – and having them get to know you – outside of the office. It can make work in the office that much easier.

4. Introvert? Find a buddy.  Office parties are a recipe for a migraine for some introverts.  Make the best of it by dividing the party into smaller one-on-one or small group conversations.  Bring advil.  Take a few restroom breaks. Find a fellow introvert and navigate the party together.

5. Know the culture.   Is your office party an ugly sweater or black tie affair?  Do you work at a young start up or traditional law firm?  The culture can dictate the culture of the party. If it’s your first holiday party at that company get the scoop on last year.

6. No heavy conversation. No one wants to make important decisions or discuss heavy topics after a few cocktails.  And chances are, even if they do they won’t remember the next day. Some work convos are fine but keep it on the lighter side.

7. Say thank you.  Holiday parties take time and money. Say thank you to whoever planned it and say thank you to whoever allows it to happen.

8. Choose your outfit wisely.  A little festive sparkle can’t hurt (perhaps some jingle bell earrings or musical tie) but see #5.  Ask around to see what’s appropriate.

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