Survive Your Company Holiday Party

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It’s annual company party holiday season! Whether you love or hate it, you have to go. Your company has spent money and time planning this soiree, so it’s expected that you show up.  To not attend is the ultimate career suicide.

But, there’s a right and a wrong way to behave.

Unfortunately, many have been disciplined and even fired for things said and done at their company holiday party.  This despite online warnings, like this one, year after year.

So let’s give it another go because– like Craig from Friday— it is possible to get fired for behavior on your day off!

Here are some tips to help you survive your company holiday party and come out on top:

Know Your Limit.  Just because there’s an open bar doesn’t mean that you drink like you’re at your best friend’s wedding.  Drink too much and you may say or do something that you regret later. Remember, there is life after the party. And, your boss and coworkers are watching and will judge you. The last thing that you want is to have your perceived drinking problem become the talk of the office.

Dress to Impress. It’s a party, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to pull out your club attire.  This is a business event, so attire should be a dressy version of what you would wear to the office.  Leave the sexy party attire for another occasion.

Check Your Hormones. This is not the time to confess your attraction or undying love for your coworker.  Leave the pick-up lines at home.  This is a company event and you can be disciplined for any behavior that is deemed inappropriate.  If you wouldn’t do it in the office, don’t do it at the party.

Be Personable.  You are more than your latest work assignment. It’s time for you to show it!  It’s a party, so there’s no need to keep the conversation strictly about the business.  What do you do in your spare time?  Where have you traveled lately?  What are your passions?  What are your weekend plans?  Keep it light.  And, please avoid sharing information that is too personal.

Mingle.  It’s really easy to converse with the coworkers that you know the best.  However, working the room can pay off later!  Likeability is a huge factor in moving up in an organization. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with new people and solidify your career with the company.

Be Respectful of Time.  It can be tempting to spend all of your time with your boss or one of the key leaders in your company.  After all, they’re the ones who keep you employed.  However, it’s rude to take all of their time.  Be mindful that others want to talk to them, too.  Spend time with your leadership, but work the room as well. Your leaders will take note of your ability to network with others.

Say Thank You.  The company has spent money and someone has taken the time to put this event together for you.  Show your appreciation by simply saying thank you to all that are responsible for making it happen – even the administrative assistant who probably did all of the work.  It will go a long way.

Khalilah Starks

Khalilah Starks, founder of High Powered Professional, is a career expert dedicated to providing students and professionals with techniques on career advancement and professional success. She has served as a career expert on a CBS Morning News Show and has been featured in numerous online and print publications.


Twitter: @highpoweredpro