Tis the season.
While we all hurry to finish our holiday shopping, and close out the year strong, it’s also a time to celebrate with family, friends…and coworkers. Your calendar is probably already starting to fill up with holiday party invitations. One of your favorite (or least favorite) invitations will most likely be your company holiday party. Even though a party is a party, it can still be daunting to navigate the cocktail-infused waters among a sea of coworkers you may not know too well outside of the office.
The company holiday party is a time to have fun and network…OR, for some, it’s a time to misbehave and make a bad impression. So how do you go about surviving and thriving at your company party without tarnishing your professional image?
Here are the top 18 do’s and don’ts to ace the company holiday party.
- DO attend. Even if this party is not at the top of your list, it’s still something you should attend. This is a chance to get to know your coworkers better. It’s a casual environment that can help enhance your career.
- DO socialize with coworkers you typically do not interact with. Treat each person with respect and make an effort to introduce yourself to people you have not met yet.
- DON’T sit in a corner or spend the night texting friends. If you’re going to make an effort to attend, make the effort to be both physically and mentally present.
- DON’T spend all evening talking business or use this as an opportunity to vent about things you are unhappy with. Remember not to gossip about coworkers or management.
- DO keep conversations upbeat and positive. You don’t want to be the person that is complaining whole time about the party or worse your job.
- DON’T be offended by how people wish you Happy Holidays. There are many holidays being celebrated this time of year, remember that, but don’t be offended if it’s not the one you’re celebrating.
- DO spend at least 30 minutes to an hour at the party. Even if you don’t plan on staying long, make sure people see you and know that you were there before you do an early exit.
- DON’T over-stay and be the last person to leave. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, but be mindful of the time and recognize when it’s time to go home.
- DON’T flirt with coworkers no matter the relationship you may have with them. Keep the conversations appropriate. Remember you see these people every day.
- DON’T wear inappropriate attire. It is okay to dress up and be festive, but keep in mind you are still attending a professional event. Ask about the attire ahead of time to cover all of your bases.
- DO bring a guest if your company encourages it. Consider bringing your significant other or friend. This is a great way for them to get to know your colleagues who you spend most of your time with during the week.
- DO enjoy yourself. This is important and the point of the holiday celebration. You worked hard all year along and employers spend a lot of money to show their employees they appreciate it.
- DON’T pregame or bring a flask. It’s never a good idea.
- DO limit yourself to 1-2 cocktails. Everything in moderation. Just because there is an open bar, doesn’t mean you need to take full advantage of it.
- DO eat something before attending. Even if there is food there, there will also be alcohol, so you don’t want to show up on an empty stomach.
- DON’T drink and drive. This is important. Plan accordingly and check to see what your transportation options are.
- DON’T take or post inappropriate photos to share on social media that could affect your professional image. Instead take photos before the drinking starts.
- DO show up at work the next day. If your company holds the party on a weekday night, make sure you put in the effort to show up at work the next day.
So whether you are new to a company or have been there for over 10 years, keep these 18 tips in mind to help you be the person your coworkers remember for the right reasons.