As the holiday season is in full-swing, many companies are holding their annual holiday office party as a way to celebrate and bring workers together in song and cheer. However, there are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of so you can have fun, but be appropriate at the party so you aren’t the focus of staring eyes or ‘water-cooler’ talk.
Most office parties are held in the evening, with food, drink, and dancing while some are held in the day, say a luncheon or afternoon gathering. It can be challenging to know how to dress or to behave in front of your coworkers, and especially, the boss and the upper echelon. You want to have fun – after all, it is a party – but being appropriate is a key factor to your career success.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind in your planning for the event:
- Check out the dress code prior; some soirees may be formal while others are business casual, depending on the setting. You don’t want to come in jeans or a gown only to find out you are over/under dressed. I think we all want to be recognized but being inappropriately dressed will get you recognized, but in a negative way.
- On that note, be cognizant of how you are dressing. Ladies: watch on having a neckline that dips too low or a skirt that is too high. While it is fashionable and may make you feel good, I don’t think your office mates will look at you the same way once you’re back to work. This goes to shoes, which I love, but if you can’t walk properly in them, save them for another time. Now guys, you do have the advantage that you can wear pants and a shirt and look good, but you have some guidelines, too: make sure your pants are not too long or too short and that they are clean and pressed; if the dress code is business casual, a tie is not necessary but typically it is a shirt and tie, perhaps with a jacket for formal themes. I’m all about dressing on a budget so there are ways that you can look good without breaking the bank so you can look great without spending a lot of money.
- Parties will usually have food and drink but I recommend moderating your consumption on both, especially the drink. A lot of parties have buffet-style set-ups so go through the line, taking a plateful of food, but not over-doing it as you can go back later. It is considerate to others not to overdo as some main dishes can be gone, leaving none of others. As for alcohol, which does tend to relax and loosen us up, you don’t want to spill workplace secrets or say/do something inappropriate that it could land you in trouble later (which does happen).
- This is a great opportunity to network and get to know those you work with, as well as those you haven’t met or want to meet. In a more relaxed at atmosphere, people tend to relax and open up more which could create more bonding moments between teammates as well as connecting with others in the organization. Watch the office talk as most people come to leave that behind and don’t pitch for your next job. Introduce yourself to that hiring manager, who will usually start off with the question of ‘what do you do here’ which can lead into some talk and make you memorable but it does on their terms and not you pushing the agenda.
As you’re getting ready to attend your office party or get-together, keep in mind how you want to be perceived then and later, and dress/act appropriately (this means no twerking on the dance floor). Your reputation depends on it – let the partying begin!
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