Many think fondly of their company’s holiday parties as a great way to let their hair down and mix and mingle with their favorite co-workers. Don’t let the casual nature of this celebratory event fool you though, there are ways you can have a great time and hold your head up high at work the next day… and plenty of ways you can negatively affect your career by how you conduct yourself as well.
Here are some quick tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of attending a company holiday party:
- Make an effort to attend this event, even if your instinct is to stay home in your jammies and watch a movie. Also make sure that when you do receive an invite or RSVP, you reply “YES” in a timely manner. Responding on time reflects on your being able to meet deadlines and respecting your coworker’s time.
- Make sure that you are present for at least 30 minutes and make contact with your direct higher-ups before leaving. And don’t just show up – make an effort to mix and mingle. This can be a valuable networking opportunity that if leveraged well could benefit your career.
- Dress appropriately – not sure what that means….? Well first – put away the Vegas club clothes, the low “V” tops, and the short red or green Summer dresses (just because it’s holiday-colored doesn’t mean it’s ok). Keep it tasteful, and always double-check the invitation for the dress code.
- Pre-arrange for a designated driver or book an Uber or Lyft if you’re drinking so that people know you are responsible. If not and you have been seen drinking, the impression that you are reckless could be made by your co-workers not to mention other more important superiors.
- Think closely about who to bring as your plus one. If you have a significant other that is great at social functions, this might be a no-brainer. But if not…. don’t make desperate choices, as going solo is better than a +1 that will drag you down. A close friend may be something worth considering. Think of them as your work wingman!
- Always be sure to show up for work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day. Showing up late, fatigued, or not at all will mold opinions of how responsible you are. Even if you have to fake it a little – Fake it until you make it!
- Make an effort to thank the hosts before you leave. If their admin assistant planned the event, thank them too! The whole reason this event was thrown was to show employee appreciation, getting acknowledgment that the event was received well will go a long way.
- Use this event as an excuse to get your flirt on. This is never a good idea and always has after effects, most of them not great for your reputation after this.
- Be one of the last on the dance floor. Partying till the wee hours may be fun when you’re with your bestie, but the last impression you want to leave is a sloppy one.
- Go the gag-gift route for company holiday gifts. It might sound fun and you’ll get one or two laughs but it can be risky business knowing how it will be received and if the recipient will feel valued.
- Spend all evening talking to your higher-ups and or talking business and not building relationships with your co-workers. No one wants to be seen as the office suck-up or a boor!
- Use this event as an opportunity to gossip about others or talk about all your career accomplishments
- Fall into social drinking traps. A two drink max is always a safe rule but whatever you do, don’t be the one caught doing shots at the bar with co-workers.
- Post your evening’s activities on social media. Your higher-ups and co-workers will have their own opinions on what they see and read. Unless it’s a pre-event photo about how you’re excited, safest to keep it to yourself.
Toast of the Town produces lots of holiday celebrations for their corporate clients! Hope to see you there!