For many employees, the company’s holiday party is just one more obligation to squeeze into a hectic holiday calendar. The event is often seen as a dreaded chore rather than an opportunity to have fun, and in light of recent events in the news, this year’s office party might even be more stressful and awkward than usual. However, you really should go, and we’ve got some advice to help make it more bearable.
Company Holiday Party Guide
When preparing for your holiday work party, remember the following:
The party is part of your job; its purpose is to bring together co-workers and colleagues for camaraderie and well-deserved recognition. Consider it work, put on your best attitude, and go.
The event requires advance preparation. Knowing who will be there and having an idea what to talk about is critical to a successful experience.
Stay at the party long enough to speak to everyone there. With a large crowd, interact with as many people as possible, especially key people such as your boss. Remain at the event for at least an hour, but leave before the party time has elapsed.
Keep your guard up when deciding how to dress. If the party is being held immediately after work, business attire is appropriate. If later in the evening or during the weekend, your choices will vary depending on the event. What you wear should reflect well on you professionally.
Check your invitation to see if your partner or children are invited. Only take children if the invitation reads “and family”, and your partner/spouse if the invitation reads “and guest”. Otherwise plan on attending alone.
Take cues from others when choosing topics of conversation.
Always drink in moderation. This is an opportunity to build business relationships and to network within your company, not to get drunk and embarrass yourself.
Unless asked to bring something to exchange with co-workers, only bring a gift basket for your host. Gift baskets with jams, jellies or gourmet food items that can be stored and served later are some good choices.
Enjoy yourself, but keep in mind it is still a business function. Do not behave carelessly or do or say things you may regret later.