It is that time of year again where we will all be sipping some Champagne with our co-workers at the annual holiday party. Everyone is looking forward to dressing up, letting loose, and relaxing. As soon as you arrive the alcohol starts flowing and the music starts bumping. Although you planned on only having a few drinks, you convince yourself that this party only happens once a year and you deserve the extra drinks. Before you know it you are drunk and taking a cab home with a co-worker. You are probably thinking that would never happen to me, right? WRONG! The truth is that many people often find themselves in sticky situations at the holiday party, even those who are generally mild-mannered and tame. While holiday parties are supposed to be fun and a time to enjoy your co-workers, there are some definite do's and don'ts that MUST be followed.
DO make sure that you dress appropriately. While the holiday party is an out-of-office event, you are still technically at work. Don't show up in some slutty dress that you would wear out to a club with your friends, and don't show up in a frumpy sweater with corduroys either. DO show up in something classy and conservative.
DONT bring someone to the holiday party that you are not seriously dating. While it may feel awkward to attend a holiday party alone, it will be more awkward when your co-worker asks you, "So, how is Billy Bob doing?" and you have to tell her that Billy Bob dumped you last week for a pink-haired hippie. The people you bring to work functions reflect upon you. So make sure whoever you bring is either someone you are married to, someone you will be getting married to, or is someone who your mother would approve of.
DO accept the invitation to the holiday party. While attending the holiday party on a Saturday night may not be your first choice of entertainment, not attending could look very bad and could even hurt your career. If you don't attend people may assume that you are not serious about your job or the company you work for. Show the executives at your work that you are excited to be a part of the company. And when you do attend, make sure that you stay long enough to at least say hi to everyone. There is nothing worse than someone who eats and leaves.
DONT drink too much. Yes, the holiday party is supposed to be fun, but it is not the place to get drunk, wild, and out of control. Sure, have a few cocktails and loosen up a bit, but don't be the person getting sick in the bathroom or the one dancing provocatively on the dance floor. If you do drink, make sure that you are drinking on a full stomach and having some water here and there. While you may be wondering why on earth I am telling you something you already know, it is better to hear something you already know than to be one of those people that everyone talks about the next week in the office.
DO thank your boss and the executives that threw the party. While a holiday party has come to be expected at all offices, the holiday party is still a treat that likely cost a lot of money. Thanking your boss and the executives will make you look grateful, as you should be.
DONT flirt with any of your co-workers, even if you have a crush on them. One of my favorite movies of all time is Love Actually. In that movie Mia, the secretary, decides that she will slow dance with her boss, whom she is deeply in love with. Not only is it inappropriate, but the wife, who is also attending, notices. Also, Sarah ends up in bed with a co-worker, whom she has had a crush on forever. The point is, no matter how slick you think you are being, everyone will notice your flirtatious behavior. The last thing you want is your flirting to be the talk of the office or to end up in bed at the end of the night with someone you have to see on Monday.
DO try to go around and mingle with people that you don't often get a chance to talk with. DONT stay huddled in a group with your office buddies. No one likes office clicks.
DONT spend the evening complaining about everything that is going wrong in your life - no one wants to hear it. Try to be upbeat and positive at the holiday party, it is supposed to be a time for celebrating.
DO wish everyone a happy holiday season, but DONTsay "Merry Christmas." You never know who celebrates Christmas these days. Plus, it is more PO to say "Happy Holidays."
DONT drive home after drinking too much. Inquire into how other people are planning to get home and whether your company will be reimbursing you for your cab expenses. Even if your company is not the type that reimburses for these types of events, you are better off paying for a cab or a hotel room rather than driving home drunk.
Yes, I know, there are so many rules for attending an office party! The bottom line is that you should go to the office party and have a good time, but you should NOT overindulge. Cheers to a good Holiday season!