Chances are, if you are in the business world, you may be in for a personal experience attending one of these time honored traditional gatherings. Tis the season of giving, so in that spirit, businesses will often throw a party to thank their employees for their hard work throughout the year. But be warned, this can also be a time of too much drinking and saying things to coworkers that you may regret. And while spending extra time with your co-workers may seem taxing to you, it can be a great opportunity to network and continue expanding your opportunities for growth at your company. Even though it is a party, continue to put your best foot forward. Have fun and follow these simple tips on how to survive your office Christmas party.
Keep it Professional and Classy
The hardest part about going to a party with coworkers is the scary potential of showing them a whole different side of yourself. Even though the event may be more casual than a day in the office, there are still certain rules you should stick to pertaining to professionalism. First of all, you’ll want to be aware of the dress code. Typically these events can get pretty nice and fancy, but it’s up to you to know if it is a “suit and cocktail dress” occasion or more fit for formal dresses and tuxedos. Either way, this may not be the time to try out the dress you’re interested in wearing to the club next Friday night or the ripped jeans you lounge around in at home. Parties give you the chance to blow off some steam, but you need to continue putting your best foot forward.
It is probably best to monitor your drinking at this sort of event. One thing that is often present as an office Christmas party is alcohol. If you are of age, you are welcome to indulge, but be careful not to overindulge. There is nothing worse than being visibly drunk in front of your boss or slurring your words to newer employees. Have a drink to take the edge off if you are nervous, but overindulging could lead to a lot of regrets the next morning. It is a party, but a professional one, nonetheless.
Mingle and Branch Out
An office party can be a great excuse to get to know some people outside of your specific department. Use the freedom to mingle and get to know someone new. Networking is an inevitable and important part of any job, especially if you are interested in moving up in the company. Any contact you can make is a good one, so take the chance when everyone is mingling together.
Another key to networking at a party is to bring in conversation topics outside of work. Ask your coworker about their kid’s dance recital or how all the work on the new house is coming. The more comfortable you can get with people in a genuine way, the better off you may be. Starting a conversation about LED christmas lights and the decorations around you is a good way to get the ball rolling and get your coworkers to shift the conversation from business oriented to personal.
Find a Buddy and Stick with Them
It can be intimidating to go to one of these parties alone, so it is encouraged to form your own entourage. Maybe you can bring a significant other to help ease your nerves. You can also stick with that one close work friend of yours throughout the evening. These events can be tricky to navigate, so if you can help it, don’t go through it alone. In the world of Christmas office parties, we truly are all in this together.