There’s a new chill in the air, and the first snowflake has fallen. Trees and homes have been decorated, and bank accounts are starting to drain from purchases of holiday gifts. Yup, it’s that time of year again…Office Holiday Party Time! December marks the month where you get a chance to let your hair down, guzzle eggnog, dance your heart out and socialize with colleagues on the expense of your employer! Now before you put on your party cap, it’s important to remember that although it is a party, it is still a corporate function nonetheless and behavior is everything. It’s vital that you maintain the utmost professionalism while in attendance because the bosses are always watching, believe us. To ensure that you aren’t the topic of conversation at the water cooler on Monday, follow our tips on proper company holiday party etiquette.
The Look: It’s important to consider a few things before you stress yourself on what to wear to your company’s holiday party. First of all, is it in the afternoon at your corporate space or is it in the evening at an outside location? If it’s the first of the two, then you’ll want to keep your outfit strictly professional and limit it to an outfit that you would generally wear to work. After all, you are STILL at work, physically at least. If the party is taking place at an outside location in the evening, then it is more likely that you’ll be able to dress up your look a bit. Although you have a bit more flexibility in your outfit choice, it’s still extremely important to keep your look professional and conservative. When in doubt, just check on the invite as to what the dress attire is!
Plus One: Before you ask your significant other to accompany you at your company holiday party, be sure you know exactly who all is actually invited. There can be occasions where spouses and significant others aren’t on the guest lists, so be aware. Also, if guests are permitted, make sure he or she does not act inappropriately and is professional and respectful of the company and other guests. We shouldn’t have to remind you on this, but remember that this is a business setting, so be sure to display the appropriate amount of affection to your guest, i.e. no excessive flirting and inappropriate touching. Keep it conservative with the PDA.
Bust a move: Before you go Elaine Benes from Seinfeld, remember where you are at and keep your dance moves tasteful. After all, this isn’t a night club, it’s a work function!
Cheers: It’s been a long, hard year and now it’s time to take a step back and cheers to the success of you and the company. Enjoy your success…and a few cocktails, but in moderation. Limit yourself to only a couple of drinks and avoid excessively indulging just because it’s an open bar. It’s also important to keep your drink in your left hand and your right hand open so you can offer handshakes to friends and colleagues as they walk by; handshakes that aren’t cold and wet!
Talking the Talk: Holiday parties are an excellent opportunity to network with individuals who can influence your career. Since it is a casual atmosphere, it’s a perfect setting to build relationships and your network. Be sure though to not spend the entire evening talking business. This is a chance for people to get to know each other and talk about things other than work. Also, don’t control or dominate the conversations; engage and listen to what your colleagues and their guests have to say. Be social and be yourself.
Giving Thanks: Never take things for granted be sure to thank the person responsible for planning and coordinating the party. They worked hard so that you could enjoy yourself, so let them know how much you appreciate the effort they put into organizing the event. Also, be sure to send a thank you to top management for hosting the party.
So, you better not pout and you definitely better not shout at your office shindig, because your boss will definitely find out if you’re naughty or nice! Just relax and enjoy yourself, and remember everything (and we mean everything) should be done in moderation at a company holiday party!