Chrissie party etiquette

It’s time for the annual office Chrissie parteee and you’re ramping up to have a blast. Before you get too excited, think about the career ramifications if the fun gets out of hand. More than one career has crashed because a ‘professional’ has let loose—so loose it’s drawn the attention of the boss. YIKES.

When at an office party, remember the word office. Repeat, office. Yes, it’s a party and, yes, the boss has splurged so everyone can enjoy the festive season, but you’re still representing your career and your workplace when you’ve got a drink in your hand.

Here are a few tips to get you through unscathed.

Dress—wear an outfit that’s appropriate for a work-related activity. What’s it saying about you if you’re what you’re wearing is super revealing and tight? Is your cleavage the first thing everyone can’t help but see?

Drink—be cautious (even consider not drinking). One issue with alcohol is how easy it is to lose track. Next thing you know, you’re slurring your words and crapping on. This is guaranteed to get you in hot water later.

Eat—don’t stuff your face like it’s Christmas day or the last supper. Pigging out in front of office colleagues leaves a lasting impression (of the wrong kind). December 25 is just around the corner. Indulge then.

Friendly—be friendly but not too friendly. Crossing the line with a single unwanted or unwelcome bit of behaviour you could end up facing a sexual harassment complaint.

Thoughtful—lots of parties celebrate with Secret Santa. Be thoughtful with the gift you choose. Be kind. Gifts that mock, ridicule or tease another person don’t cut it. It’s cruel to laff at someone else’s expense.

Manners—mind your manners and be gracious. Say hello to guests and thank your boss for the party. Don’t make a quick escape. Take time to say goodbye and wish everyone well.

Fun—have fun but don’t cross the line. Self-deprecating humour is an emotional intelligence capability. Practice it this holiday season.

Business—don’t talk shop and don’t corner your boss and let it all hang out. Parties are social events, not opportunities to advance your career, resolve work-related issues or get everything off your chest.

Social media—be social media conscious. Remember that the photos you take (and the ones you’re in) might seem funny at the time but in the light of day will you feel the same? Avoid compromising or embarrassing yourself and others.

Exit—think twice about being that last one standing or kicking on with your workmates after the official function. This is when things can really get out of hand. Have a Plan B, like meeting family or friends after and leave the party gracefully.

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