Office holiday parties are a right of passage for any young professional woman. And whether you’re looking forward to your workplace celebration or dreading it like the plague I thought I would help you to at least be prepared with some of the most common office holiday party fails and some of the sure fire ways you can hold your head up high walking into work on the Monday after!
Do Attend the Party
Let’s start here. Definitely go to the party. It’s rude to bail on your fellow co-workers and by skipping you’re missing an opportunity to network with people that you may not normally spend time with. I highly recommend you attend your office party, skipping it can leave people to come to all sorts of conclusion, for example, you’re too important to go, you aren’t committed to your company, you don’t like your co-worker or you are just plain no fun.
Be Careful With Your Wardrobe.
The office holiday party is not the place to unveil your sexy side. No matter what the setting or how you perceive the event to be, there’s no place for clothing that is anything less than professional. Sure go ahead and step it up a bit, get festive, wear something a little more fancy or feminine than what you’d normally wear to work, but remember you don’t want people talking about your clothes. You want them talking about how smart and fun and talented you are. Keep it classy!
Show Common Courtesy.
Don’t be late, there is no such thing as “fashionably late” at an office party. The party doesn’t start at 11pm, it starts whatever time the invitation says and that’s the time you should be there.
If your office party is being hosted by someone you work with bring a host or hostesses gift. Something thoughtful and reasonable. Send a note the next day, thanking them for their hospitality.
Mingle with people and be sociable. Include others in your conversation and be sure to seek out opportunities to talk to people you may not see much of at work. Don’t be that person that clings to your work BFF all night and ignores the rest of the guests.
Yes, have a glass of wine or two, but be careful...drinking too much is one of the most common (and regrettable) mistakes people make at the office Christmas Party! Set some limits for yourself. You know how many drinks you can reasonably have. Whether that’s 1, 2 or maybe 3, know what it is for you and be sure to limit yourself in advance. I love mixing a cocktail with seltzers in between, or finding a fun looking non-alcoholic option, like a shirley temple, to break up the drinks and keep things under control. You won’t like how you feel if you over do it and you can never take drunken behavior back, so be responsible and have fun, but not too much fun!
Sex with Co-Workers?
Oh My Gawwwwd, NO!
Please stay far, far away from any ideas of an office Christmas party romance. I get it there might be some cute guy that you work with and you may be having a great time chatting with him at the party. Heck, you may even legitimately be attracted to each other and in a position to start a real relationship, but I can assure you that this is not the place to get that ball rolling!
Why? Because even if it’s innocent, and you are two single adults who are perfectly suited to have a makeout session, your work party is not the place. Making out (or more) with a co-worker at the office Christmas Party will go down in your company's history and people will never stop talking (ie judging) about it.
Save yourself the pain and agony and exchange numbers with the cutie you’re flirting with and plan a real date for another time.
Have an Exit Strategy.
Before you even show up you should have your plan laid out. You know what you are going to wear, how you will interact with the guests, how much you will drink, and how you will behave. You also need to know what time you plan to leave and how you’re getting home.
Will you be driving yourself home, walking, taking an Uber, or getting a ride with a friend? Whatever the plan is be sure you have secured your ideas about how you’re getting home and approximately what time you’re leaving.
Don’t be the person that closes down the office Christmas Party! If you see people starting to leave earlier than you expected, adjust your plans and arrange to leave a little earlier. You don’t want to be the last one there, it’s just awkward.
If you’re driving yourself home, don’t put others in a position to question whether or not you’re sober enough to get behind the wheel - see above tip about not drinking too much! Be responsible.
I hope this article gave you something to think about as you’re getting ready for this year’s office holiday party. These events can truly be fun and they can certainly be a great place to get closer to your coworkers and your boss. Go about it professionally and ready to have a great time and you’ll walk into work Monday morning with no regrets!
Thanks for reading!