Ready or not, the holiday season is once again upon us. And with that, comes the festive (or dreaded, depending on your take) holiday office party. You wouldn’t think that a “Dos & Don’ts” list would be necessary, would you? But given some of the antics that I’ve seen at holiday office parties, I thought, why the heck not? – it’ll make for a fun blog post. So here goes…
Do attend. This is an absolute must. The holiday office party is all about team spirit, team building and morale. It’s also the boss’ way of thanking his (or her) employees for their hard work throughout the year. To not show up might be construed as an insult and it won’t look good on you. So, unless you have a valid reason (an absolutely can’t-be-missed prior engagement – and I mean something like a wedding or your parents’ 50th anniversary party – or you’re violently ill) you simply have to make an appearance.
Don’t get drunk. Really? Do I really have to spell this one out? You bet your vodka martinis I do! I once worked for a company whose office party became so out of control due to the excessive alcohol consumption, that they actually cancelled the event for the following year and just made it an in-office luncheon that lasted all of an hour and a half. So, I reiterate, don’t get drunk. It can lead to belligerent, unseemly behavior that could embarrass you till the cows come home – or worse yet – get you fired!
Do be social. The idea behind the holiday office party is to bring co-workers together socially, outside of the workplace setting. Whether you really want to be there or not, you’ll look like an anti-social moron if you just sit in a corner, texting your buddies. You’re there; you might as well make the best of it. Get to know people you don’t normally interact with. Have a word with your superiors – the ones with whom you don’t speak on a daily basis (you know, here’s your chance to do a little subtle ass-kissing if you’re looking for a raise or a promotion). Have some social fun!
Don’t be overly friendly – especially with superiors with whom you’re not that familiar. While the office party is a great setting within which to make connections and get to know people better, you don’t want to be the guy who throws his arms around people he barely knows and acts like everyone is his best friend (this “Don’t” can be accomplished a lot easier if you follow the “Don’t get drunk” advice). Keep things professional, but at the same time, a little “looser” than the 9 to 5 interaction. As a side note to this: The office party is NOT the time or place to ask the boss for a raise or talk “intense” shop.
Do dance, if there’s a D.J. and dancing.
Don’t dance if there’s no D.J. and dancing. (And if there is, keep your moves within the ‘General Audience’ rating category. The office party is not the place to get all funky and start taking off your clothes to the music. Oh, and do I have to say it? NO TWERKING!!)
Do dress for the occasion. And by ‘dress’, I mean appropriately. Wear something tasteful and in keeping with the venue at which the party is being held. And with that said…
Don’t over or under dress for the occasion. I’m not saying that you have to be your button down self that you are from 9 to 5, but you don’t want to be showing up in thigh high boots (as hot as they are) and a dress that would make Heidi Fleiss blush. And jeans & a t-shirt ain’t gonna’ cut it either.
Do bring a token gift for the boss (or whoever is hosting the party). Or at the very least, say "thank you" before you leave.
Don’t hook up. Again, this one is easier if you follow the “Don’t get drunk” rule. But even if you’re as sober as a judge, it’s never a good idea to hook up with a coworker during or after the office Christmas party (unless there’s some history there, and even so, you’d better check out your company’s policy on inter-office dating).
So go, have fun! Eat, drink (but only 2 or 3) and be merry!! Enjoy, but just remember, you have to face all of these people again on Monday morning…