How to Party Like a Pro(fessional) 5 Essential Tips for the Office Holiday Party
Work parties can either be a ton of fun, or a total bore, depending on the occasion, the setting, and, let’s be honest, your co-workers. Despite the details, it’s always advisable to make an appearance at work-related events as a showing of good faith in your job and your employer. There’s always a little something to be gained from attending a work event, but more importantly, there is always something to be lost. (Um, like your job.) Here are a few tips on how to make attending your next company party more enjoyable and successful.
1. Don’t Drink… Too Much
It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail at a work function when adult beverages are being provided for employees. If you’re newer to the company, don’t know too many people on staff, or teeter on the shy side, a little liquid courage may help to make you feel more at ease among your co-workers. If you do choose to imbibe, keep yourself in check. If you tend to overindulge once you start sipping, you may want to avoid alcohol altogether. Better to keep to the sober side than end up making a spectacle of yourself kicking the copy machine in a drunkenly-inspired “Office Space” homage.
2. Work the Room
It’s easy to huddle up with your immediate circle at an office party, but you should really take time to make the rounds. Often times, company parties are held in celebration of a company milestone, or in an afford to improve morale among company members, so seize the opportunity to show you’re a team player and a valuable asset to the organization. Work events are perfect opportunities to get to know other employees that may work in different departments than you. If you show active interest in the roles others play within the company, you never know what might happen. Maybe your invoices might just get processed a little more quickly next accounting period.
3. Speak Up (the Chain of Command)
The most important mingling to be done at a work function is to rub elbows, (so to speak), with your boss. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the bigwigs. Share your appreciation for your position in the company. Even if it is just small talk, don’t shy away from any of the “higher-ups” in these more jovial gatherings. It’s often easier to approach certain subjects outside of regular work hours, so feel free to mention if you have a vested interest in the company, or if hold the desire to move upward. Be sure to keep the conversation light—Remember they’re trying to enjoy themselves too, so this certainly isn’t the appropriate setting to demand a raise. If you’re happy where you are, or even if you’re not, be sure to swing by the bosses to say a simple “thanks” for the great party.
4. Dress Appropriately
Work attire can feel stiff and uncomfortable, so the opportunity to flaunt something more stylish is surely appealing, especially if you’re stuck in a suit five days a week. But before you shimmy out the door in your favorite Saturday night ensemble, consider the neckline, hemline and fabrics of your attire. Avoid slinky tops, super short skirts and sheer fabrics. You don’t want to attract any unfavorable attention from co-workers, unwarranted solicitations, or obvious ogling from unwanted eyes. Otherwise, you and your unmentionables might be all the talk at the water cooler come Monday morning.
5. Mind your Mouth
It might be a party, but it’s still a work party, so don’t get too comfortable. Remember you’re among colleagues, and that letting a little too loose at a work party is never a good idea. You never know who might be passing behind you at any given moment, so don’t get caught saying something you shouldn’t have been. Watch your mouth, and keep your expletives in check even when talking to close work friends—It’s never certain where their allegiances lie, especially if they might be secretly vying for your position! Regardless, an office party isn’t the venue to air any grievances, so keep it civil and friendly. Save the more heated topics for the Human Resources department when you’re back in the office.
Are you attending an office holiday party this season? Share your best or worst office party story with us in the comments below!