It’s been a crazy year, you’ve worked long hours and your company has decided to reward the team with a Christmas Party. Before you pop open the bubbly, remember that your drunken karaoke rendition of Waterloo may impact your professional reputation come Monday morning. To help you celebrate the season safely, here are eight things not to do at the holiday office party in 2012:
1. Be sloppy drunk.
In some offices, the booze flows freely but remember: The holiday party is one of the few occasions where you’ll be in a social gathering with upper management. Nurse a drink through the evening, or mix it up with a few non-alcoholic drinks.
2 Tell dirty jokes.
The holiday party is a chance to show off your dazzling personality and intelligence to the powers that be. While the conversation need not focus on work topics, talking politics, religion, and sex is a quick way to alienate someone. If you want to tell a joke, keep it clean.
3. Steer clear of people you don’t know.
This may be the only chance you get all year to actually have a conversation with the C-Suite professionals. Take the opportunity. Introduce yourself. This is not the time to complain, ask for a raise or go into a lengthy analysis of what the market risks are. Just.say a few words about what you do for the company, and stay upbeat. Making a positive impression could help you later on.
4. Dress provocatively.
You don’t want to be remembered for the sexy outfit you wore. Dressing too casually or suggestively can make you look unprofessional. Stay away from casual Friday clothes and avoid looking like you are headed to a hen do.
5. Flirt outrageously.
Despite what Hollywood would have us believe, this isn’t the time to pursue your secret office crush. Stay clear of the co-worker who is drunk; you don’t want to put yourself at risk with someone who has less self-control.
6. Leave without thanking the host.
If you’re in a colleague’s home, come with a small gift like a bottle of wine. Make sure to thank the host of the party before you leave.
7. Be the last one to leave.
Don’t overstay your welcome. You don’t want to be the last to leave the office party. (You also don’t want to be the first to arrive and stand around making awkward conversation; arrive 10 or 15 minutes after the party starts.) Plan to leave 30 minutes before the end of the party or whenever you see a critical mass of people exiting.
Is your office having a holiday party this year? What advice would you want your co-workers to take? Let us know in the comments!