Surviving the Office Christmas Party

It’s the time of year again when workplace Christmas parties are well underway – before peoples’ December diaries fill up and before they leave for holidays.

Your office celebration may be as simple as a few canapés and a glass of champers or beer in the office after work, or a BBQ in the park or as glamorous as a five star restaurant or party venue.

Regardless of what kind of party it is the rules of engagement remain the same if you wish to keep your dignity and job intact.

First and foremost resolve to attend the event. Don’t rsvp that you’re attending and then not show up!

The Chrissy party is a great opportunity to embrace the spirit of the silly season and share some downtime with your colleagues.
You can let your hair down, but be careful not to go to far.

Find out beforehand what the dress code for the event is and make sure you’re not over or underdressed. A work Christmas party is not the occasion to try out that teeny, new cocktail dress with the plunging neckline.

And do arrive on time: being ‘fashionably late’ is not appropriate for the annual office party.

If participating in a Kris Kringle, make sure to be sensitive to the company’s policies around bullying and discrimination. Christmas does not mean political incorrectness can go awry.

Once at the party, mingle and talk to as many people as you can, but do avoid office gossip. It’s not the time or place.

Nor is it the time after a few drinks to decide to raise that work issue you’ve been meaning to discuss with one of your colleagues or your boss: especially your boss!

Here’s a tip – some bosses love the party because they get to ‘see’ people in a different environment, and this helps them judge them for maturity, sociability, sensibility and confidence. These are the same people considering you for promotion, special projects and work in other departments, so retain your professionalism at all times.

And finally, you may have had your eye on that attractive person in sales or HR, but resist the temptation to tell them so after a few cocktails. Sexual harassment claims are often rife after Christmas parties – don’t let that be you. It’s embarrassing and can deeply affect a person’s career!

Most importantly of all – enjoy yourself and have fun. After all, this is the real purpose of the office Christmas get together.

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