It’s Office Holiday Party Time!

It’s Office Holiday Party Time! image Wasserman Holiday PartyIt’s Office Holiday Party Time!

If you haven’t heard—the office holiday party is back! Various surveys note that anywhere from 80 to 96% of firms hold holiday parties with numbers steadily increasing since 2011. Ironically, a survey by Glassdoor found that only about 5% of employees actually want to attend their employer’s holiday party or consider it a perk, even with an open bar. After all, office parties are legendary for their ability to derail careers, ignite inappropriate behaviors, and inspire workplace derision that can linger for months. So if you consider yourself part of the 95% that would rather be almost anywhere else than the office holiday party, here’s some friendly PR advice on how to avoid going into crisis control after the soirée.

OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY DON’Ts

  • This is not a fraternity party—don’t try to recapture your college days by enjoying all the free alcohol you can stomach. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and there is a good chance you will do or say something you’ll regret. Too much alcohol can quickly kill a career.
  • This is not a casual night out with the peeps. It’s a work function and you are expected to attend. And, don’t forget, you are being watched. Dress appropriately, avoid off-color jokes, no twerking (with or without clothes) and keep negative opinions to yourself.
  • This is not Las Vegas—what happens at the office holiday party will not stay at the office party. Act inappropriately? Dress too skimpy or too casually? Expect to have that video or picture (or both?) splashed all over the internet for public viewing.

OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY DOs

But it’s not all doom and gloom. If you keep your wits about you, this annual ritual can actually enhance your reputation in the workplace. So, here are a few words of positive advice on practicing good behavior at your office holiday party.

  • Mingle socially with everyone. Speak to people that you might not find time to talk with at the office. Be positive, friendly and take a sincere interest in the conversation.
  • If the invitation includes a plus one, choose your guest wisely and make sure the person doesn’t drink or eat too much and maintains a level of professionalism.
  • Keep it classy. Find out the dress code ahead of time and pick out an outfit that meets expectations as well as personifies your company ambitions.

One more piece of advice—use your common sense and your brains. It’s what got you the job in the first place. And—happy holidays!

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