When that holiday party invitation for your annual office get-together comes along, do you cringe or look forward to a festive evening with your work colleagues? Your reaction is probably a reflection of past office party experiences – whether it’s the image of tipsy and obnoxious Dan from Accounting or an unexpectedly fun evening with your colleagues.
The office holiday party is a strange mix of work and fun and we’ve all heard the horror stories. Here are some do’s and don’ts from career and etiquette experts on the matter:
DO attend. Believe it or not, attendance at the office holiday party is not optional. Executive coach Marjorie Brody says “even if you hate these things, it’s a good idea to put in an appearance. It shows you’re part of the team.”
DO think of it as work not play. Brody sates that “people should understand [the office holiday party] is a business event”. Act accordingly.
DO dress appropriately. Nothing tacky. Women should keep bare skin to a minimum and men should keep their shirts buttoned. If it’s your first holiday party at a particular job, ask colleagues about the dress code before going.
DO come prepared to mingle. Take the opportunity to socialize with co-workers that you don’t work with on a regular basis, as well as your boss. It’s a party, so don’t just talk business. If small talk isn’t your strong point, read up on the news and entertainment headlines for an easy discussion intro, or engage someone by commenting on his reindeer sweater! Holiday plans are good discussion topics. Politics and religion are not.
DO prep your significant other. If spouses and partners are invited to the party, be sure to remind them of important names to remember.
DO exit graciously. The rule of thumb is to stay for at least 1 ½ hours, even if the party is a total bore. Before leaving, it’s good practice to thank the person who organized the party and the person who approved its expense.
And finally the DON’T list…and this single DON’T but could be more important than all the DO’s put together.
DON’T drink too much alcohol. Combine a festive time of year with a potentially uncomfortable social setting, and it may just be too easy to reach for another glass of egg nog. Not surprisingly, drinking too much is the biggest source of office party problems, employee embarrassment, and bad memories that’ll flash back when next year’s holiday party invitation arrives.
Despite ending on such a cautionary note, the office holiday party can be a great chance to deepen professional relationships while celebrating the season. Now is a good time to send those early to mid December holiday party invitations. Checkout the selection available at LookLoveSend.com. All are printed on superior quality paper and satisfaction is guaranteed.