It’s that time of year—companies are pulling out all the stops to show appreciation for a year of hard work with a banging holiday party.
The office holiday party is one of the few chances you will get to let your hair down, enjoy cocktails, and unwind with your co-workers on the company’s dime. So you, of course, want to take full advantage.
What you don’t want to do, however, is to have your holiday party become a holiday bummer, because you neglected to avoid these helpful party faux pas:
- Drinking Too Much: This is rule number one for a reason. Please, please, please, if you happen to fall short with every item on this list, let this be the one that you hold nearest and dearest. The quickest, easiest way to unravel that stellar reputation you’ve been building and nurturing all year is by ending it as that drunk, unruly, belligerent, overly friendly, sloppy, uncensored, messy, embarrassing co-worker at the party. Everyone is judging you—actively. Keep it together.
- Oversharing: This can correspond with the drinking. You don’t have to be fully intoxicated to start talking too much. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say during the regular workday. Let this be your guide. If you have to give second thought to questions or comments before they leave your mouth, default to “No.” Say nothing at all and walk away. You’ll be glad you did.
- Being Cliquish: You have your work faves, and that’s totally fair and expected. However, now is not the time to show the rest of the company what close besties you are. Mingle—get to know workers in other departments. Smile, dance, and chat with those that rarely cross your paths. This is the perfect time to work on your relationship building. The more alliances you have at work, the better your work situation. Use this as a time to build your team.
- Disappearing: Though office functions may not be your thing, you must not sneak out “unnoticed” to find something else to do. Your bosses and your co-workers notice your absence, and they likely aren’t feeling it. The point of holiday parties is to bond outside of the norm. When you’d rather not, you don’t seem like a team player. Suck it up and make believe this party is the highlight of your work year. Be merry and stick it out.
- Hoarding Food: After your third run to the buffet table, they are starting to notice. Get the amount of food you need on round one on two and don’t stakeout the feeding area. You’re not that hungry, you’re not the needy, and you know how to behave when you’re faced with “free.” Try to keep it cute.
- Dressing Inappropriately: Despite the suggested party attire, keep in mind you’re with co-workers and not your girls at the club. Spruce up a bit, sure. Now is the time to break up the monotony of your work uniforms, but be sure you’re professional and covered up.
- Being Anti-Social: Parties can be awkward, even when they’re with people you see every day. Try, if you can, to engage those around you. Don’t use the merriment and activities as an excuse to retreat. If you can’t find anyone to chat with, post up by the DJ or the bar—someone always eventually shows up there.
- Working: It’s a party. Chill. You don’t look like an overachiever; you more closely resemble a disengaged wallflower. Get up and enjoy.
- Complaining: If you neglected to donate a single cent to the party planning, you don’t have a right to utter a single complaint. Yes, there will always be things you wish were different, but now is not the time to voice them. No one wants to hang out with “Gloomy Gus” during party time. Challenge yourself to say something that’s right about the festivities, every time you find something wrong.
- Anything That You Don’t Want to Be Discussed the Next Day? Steer far clear of.
Follow these guidelines, and above all—enjoy! It’s the holidays for goodness sake.
Safon Floyd is the Digital Editor at Black Enterprise. Follow her @accordingtofon.