Okay Divas and Gents! Holiday party season is upon us, so you know what that means: the Professional Diva has an opinion! Now I am quite sure that many of you have frequented an office holiday party at some point in your life. I am also quite certain that many of you have witnessed inappropriateness at office holiday parties. You never want to be that person who is ashamed to go back to work the next day because you misbehaved at the office holiday party. You also never want to be the person who is called into HR to discuss said misbehavior. To that end, please accept my short list of Do's and Don'ts for the the office holiday party.
DO Go to the Party - I said it once and I'll say it again, unless you have a really great excuse for not attending the office holiday party, you gotta go! The office holiday partly is the one time of year when many, if not all, of your company's major players will be in the same room at the same time. You want these players to see you being a part of the company culture, so you have to be in the number. Also, this is the perfect time to become more acquainted with them in a more comfortable setting. Further, the office holiday party is sometimes an occasion where you and your colleagues are congratulated for your phenomenal work throughout the year…you want to be a part of that camaraderie. And, you don’t want to be singled out as someone who is not a team player or who lacks social skills. For these reasons, and others that I have not mentioned, I believe that you will do yourself a disservice by skipping out on the party. So guess what...you gotta go!
|Ignore this guy! You gotta go!|
DO Dress Appropriately - Okay, I know this goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway because I don't want anybody to say that I didn't say it...you know what I'm saying? So here I go...the office holiday party is not the club, so don't dress like you are going to the club. Mini skirts and dresses, and overly tight pants are unacceptable! A better ensemble is an elegant cocktail dress, or solid-colored dress slacks with a festive blouse. These are just a few examples. Whatever you wear, make sure that your outfit is not the reason for the company to implement a holiday party dress code next year.
DON'T Drink Too Much - Need a quick way to kill your career and possibly lose your job? Drink too much at the holiday party and act up! Although many companies spring for the open bar for their holiday office parties, this is no excuse for you to over-indulge and behave raggedily (yes I know this is not a word!). Now, I told you all before that I have a personal policy of never drinking at office events, including holiday parties. Please be clear that I am not advocating this policy for everyone, but I have made a personal choice to remain sober when I am in the company of individuals who can fire me. The other thing is that I never drink when I am driving. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but a DUI is quite anti-sexy, and not an option for me. If you decide to partake in spirits during the party, please do so responsibly. Know your limit, and don’t lose control. Also, please arrange for a designated driver if necessary.
DO Mingle With Folks You Do Not See Everyday - The holiday office party is a perfect time to fan out and meet some folks who you don’t get to see every day. Or you can introduce yourself to the person you have been emailing back and forth all year and never met personally. Use this event as an opportunity to network with these folks; get to know them better. Don't waste this opportunity to acquaint yourself with other members of your company.
DON'T Talk Solely About Business - Fact: No one wants to hang out with the person who only talks about business at the holiday party. That being said, don’t be a party pooper by talking about work stuff at the holiday party. Leave the business talk in a drawer at your desk, and talk about something else. Now, I am well aware of the fact that eliminating business talk altogether is not realistic, but try not to begin a conversation with business. If work stuff happens to come up, go ahead and discuss, but don't harp on it...try to change the subject to something more festive. My rule of thumb is to only discuss business if someone, like my bosses, bring it up first. Just be cognizant of the amount of business you conduct during this time.
DO Have a Great Time - I look forward to going to my company's office party every year; I have a great time even while observing my own list of Dos and Don'ts! So please don't assume that I am attempting to ruin your good time...I am not the party police! Please have a fabulous time partying with your colleagues, mingling with your bosses, and celebrating the holiday season and another successful year. All I ask is that you party responsibly, and remember that you are a professional.
Have a great week!