Ah, the work Christmas party. It’s usually a good evening out, but beforehand there’s always that secret dread somewhere in the back of your mind that it could all go horribly wrong. One embarrassing or slightly inappropriate comment to the boss or a moment of drunken silliness, and you can be certain that’s all everyone at work will remember you for the next year.
Perhaps I’m paranoid, but while the work party is enjoyable I always stick to a few rules to make sure I don’t wake up the next morning hoping the ground will swallow me up.
Of course you want to look your best and not wear that dress you wear in the office all the time, but equally you still want to appear professional. A touch of sparkle is fine, but steer clear of anything too revealing, and make sure you’re wearing something you feel comfortable and confident in.
Work the room
Everyone has to deal with people in their place of work who they don’t like very much, but it is Christmas after all so work the room and make sure you have a chat to everyone. Rather than just sticking with your close work friends, be sure to chat to those you don’t get to talk to in the office and take a genuine interest in what they have to say – it won’t go unnoticed and they’ll remember you for all the right reasons then. And you never know, you might make a new friend.
Watch your glass
In my experience Christmas parties are often the sort of events when your glass gets topped up every time you turn round. Of course having a few drinks is expected, but be sure to keep track of how much you’re drinking and if you don’t want to be completely inebriated before 10pm consider breaking up your alcohol consumption with a few glasses of water.
Leave your other half at home
Often your work will invite your partner to the party, but I generally think that asking them to come with you is a bad idea, particularly if you’re relatively new to the company. You’ll end up having to babysit them a little for the whole evening, introducing them to everyone as you go round. And I almost think that arriving together sends the message to your colleagues that you don’t like doing social situations on your own – you want them to know that you’re confident and independent.
Don’t be a bore
Obviously I’m not a complete Scrooge and all this isn’t to say that you can’t have fun and let your hair down at your office Christmas do – that is the point of it after all. Just remember that you never know when your boss or manager is watching, so always consider that in your behaviour – if you wouldn’t behave in a certain way in front of them in the office, then don’t do it at the party. Worth thinking about before deciding whether to have that sixth glass of champagne!
How do you work the office Christmas party?