Company/Office Holiday Party Etiquette (Do’s and Don’ts)

Whenever anyone mentions office holiday etiquette, I immediately think to Elaine Bennett on Seinfeld. If you don’t know what I mean, now you do (disclaimer: slight profanity). This is the dreaded nightmare of us all. You’re out with the people you see every day, and you make a fool of yourself. The worst part is knowing you’ll have to face them again next Monday morning. Use these simple guidelines to safeguard yourself from shame and instead use work holiday parties in your favor.

 

DON’T

Drink Too Much: There’s an open bar, everyone is having a good time, and all of a sudden you’re past your limit. Your mouth starts going, and all of your real opinions flow out to your coworkers and bosses. Not a good idea for job security. Plus, you don’t want to look sloppy in front of your boss either. Drinking too much is a quick way to embarrass yourself.

DO

        Everything with Moderation: Dance, sing, and drink, but do it all in moderation. After all, it’s still a party. Getting out there and breaking down a few cubicle walls can help you get to know your coworkers in a completely different way. It’s an atmosphere where people let their guard down, and begin to open up. Parties can build and support a strong work community. Make some memories and you may even make a new friend.

 

DON’T

        Gossip: It’s easy to fall into this trap when everyone around you starts hashing into it. As the old saying goes, “what comes around, goes around.” The office is small no matter how many employees there are. What is said in private, can make it’s way back to the person. Don’t make life more difficult for yourself by creating enemies in the workplace. If the conversation that you’re in starts to take a gossipy turn, politely excuse yourself to the restroom, or find another reason to scoot away. It’ll save you a lot of trouble for the future.

 

DO

        Be Thankful: Your office doesn’t have to spend the extra cash to have holiday parties. Let those who planned it know how much you appreciate their time and effort. Make mention to your boss of how grateful you are that the company has invested in it’s employees with fun work parties. A little thank you can go a long way.

 

DON’T

        Wear the Wrong Clothes: Yes, it’s a party, but you still want to put your professional foot forward. Don’t choose an outfit that is too revealing or glittery. Anything that would work for a night out on the town is probably not the best idea. Also, don’t come too casual. You don’t want to look like you don’t care about being there. Your clothes can talk for you, even if you don’t intend for them to.

 

DO

        Add Some Pizzazz: You can still have fun and add some holiday cheer into your outfit. Men can throw on some red suspenders or a Christmas tie. Women can add a red sparkle belt and pumps to get in the spirit. Read the invitation for clues on what the attire should be. If it’s later in the evening, dress more formal, but if it’s earlier in the day, you can go more business casual. When you look in the mirror, make sure your clothes reflect the way you want to be seen.

All in all, work parties are great for getting to know your coworkers on a new level, which can help give you a stronger network for the day to day in the office. Dress up with a touch of class, and keep all things in moderation. Crack some jokes, have a few drinks, and have a great time!

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