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Photo: iStock.com/shironosov

Season’s Greetings, Homies! No doubt that at this time, you’re juggling
multiple holiday party invites. One of them is undoubtedly the office holiday
party and, of course, you’ve submitted your RSVP. All that’s left to do is show
up and put the “P” in “party”, right? WRONG!

Yes, the office holiday party is a time for merriment but remember, the
work office party is just an extension of the office. That means the rules that
apply in the boardroom are the same for the party room.

So follow our advice below for surviving the office party with your
dignity – and job –  in tact.


Dos and Don’ts for the
Office Holiday Party

1. Show some
personality – not skin.
You don’t have to don a nun’s habit, but it’s important
that you keep your style of dress on the same level as you would in the office.
That means no mini-skirts or super tight dresses or suits in colors best suited
for a trip to the circus. But this is a party, so it’s ok to relax a bit and be
more jovial than you would at work. Sharing your love of apartment gardening,
talking about your trip to Costa Rica, or weighing in on the latest episode of “This
is Us” are good ways to open up to your co-workers and show them a side of you
they may not see at the office.

2. Resist
the urge to gossip.
It’s fine to indulge in small talk and a bit of
mindless chit chat, but if the conversation turns to discussions about the
recently fired assistant or the alleged affair between a manager and one of the
senior vice presidents, abort the scene immediately. Even if you have nothing
to offer, being a listening ear makes you complicit in spreading falsehoods or
being party to sensitive information. And while it initially may appear to be harmless,
if it’s reported you could start the new year with a dressing down from HR. And
who wants that?

3. Avoid
overindulging in food and drink.
Yes, those mini crab cakes taste fabulous,
but must you have 20 at once? And who doesn’t appreciate an open bar? But free alcohol
doesn’t give you license to try to beat the number of tequila shots you downed
on that 2010 spring break trip to Mexico. Take it easy on the food and pace
yourself with the adult beverages with the rule of three: a maximum of three
trips to the buffet and no more than three drinks or glasses of wine. Remember Homies,
the office party offers you a chance to mix and mingle with your co-workers in
a setting and atmosphere different from the office. Your primary focus should
be on taking advantage of this, not pigging out.

4. Keep work
talk to a minimum.
Ok, so you and your co-workers are gathered at a function
sponsored by your job – how could you not talk about work? Homies, it’s ok to
pull your teammate aside to ask a question or two about his report or give your
boss props on her latest presentation. The key is to keep it brief. No one wants
to attend a party that masquerades as a work meeting. And you don’t want to be
that person whom everyone regards as the party pooper who talks all work, all
the time, even at festive occasions. Save your insight on the quarterly numbers
for the next department meeting and instead, focus on enjoying yourself and the
company of your co-workers.

5. Have fun.
Not jump-from-the-balcony-onto-the-first-floor
fun
, but fun. If there’s music and dancing, cut a rug (but don’t get out of
hand. And if you can’t dance, do this).
If there are party games, participate. Go ahead and show off your karaoke chops
on a Michael Jackson tune. The office party offers you a chance to let your hair down a
bit – take advantage of this opportunity. Put aside any conflicts or worries
and focus on being present – and maybe bringing one (we’ll talk about that in
next week’s blog post!).


Happy Holidays, Homies!