Strategies & Tactics

6 Tips for Attending Your Office Holiday Party

December 3, 2018

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Though they’re designed to celebrate a year’s worth of hard work and dedication, office holiday parties can be anxiety-inducing experiences for everyone from executives to new hires.

These types of events are not exactly the best time to let people in on your personal life, and they’re not the right setting to engage in serious business talk either. You can dress more casually, but you’ll also still be in the presence of people who set your daily dress code. You can drink alcohol, but you need to exercise self-control also.

In the wake of #MeToo, company holiday parties are also an important test of both workplace inclusivity and respecting professional boundaries.

“This year, the importance of proper etiquette and respect surrounding office functions like these is more pronounced in light of the national reckoning that, among other measures, has held men accountable for their inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct toward their female colleagues,” writes Money’s Jennifer Calfas.

On a more positive note, end-of-year office gatherings can make for low-stakes opportunities to talk to people in your workplace who you don’t see regularly or introduce yourself to that executive who always has their door closed. “Office holiday parties require conversational skills — introvert or not, you’re going to be forced to talk with someone at your table,” writes Glassdoor’s J.R. Duren.

Here are six tips for making the most of your time at your company holiday party. 

  1. Don’t take any risks with your outfit.
  2. Keep drinking to a minimum.
  3. Network with higher- ups and lesser-known colleagues.
  4. Don’t explicitly conduct business.
  5. Be mindful of what you post to social media. 
  6. Make sure to say goodbye to your co-workers.

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