It's the time of the year when all the office Christmas parties are on and it's up to you whether it's a successful party season or not. Going to the office party with a plan can make all the difference, so too will deciding what's your measure of success.
How do you want the work Christmas party to work out for you? Do you want it to be part of progressing your career or to come back in on Monday morning pretending to be brave about the gossip and the side way looks you're expecting after getting smashed and saying way too much?
Whether you love your job or loathe it, making a good impression at the party is always going to be important.
Christmas Office Party Tips
Here are our work Christmas party tips for you:
Christmas Party Tip 1
Decide how you would like the party to pan out - a success with catching up with work friends, connecting with management and actually having a chat with the wall flower and finding she's really an interesting person who's good with one on one conversations, or, a party that you would just rather forget, or more importantly, everyone else forget you were there.
Usually the easiest way to keep the party simple and a success is to moderate how much alcohol is involved. So make sure you eat before you drink, have water between drinks and leave earlier rather than later.
Christmas Party Tip 2
Think through what you're going to wear - whether you're going straight from work or from home, dressing appropriately for creating the professional impression that matters to you matters when it comes to work Christmas parties.
Save the va-voom dress for that intimate date with the man you want to woo rather than showing way too much cleavage and thigh to your boss, she won't think well of it and if she does, and you don't feel the same way, it's not going end well. So dress for the results you want.
Christmas Party Tip 3
Arrive on time and have an exit strategy. Work Christmas parties are not the ones where it's cool to turn up late and make the hosts - your bosses - wait for you. Plus, you could miss out on some of the best food and entertainment.
Do have an exit strategy so you can leave if it's boring or turning messy. If you want to party on, do so with some of your closest work mates somewhere else so any shenanigans stay between mates. Be ready with your reasons for leaving, even have a phone call organised that you can take away from company and say you're needed to help a flat mate or family member out. Remember to keep it simple.
Christmas Party Tip 4
Watch out for Facebook and Instagram! Photos that you just really don't want to be up all over social media can take ages to live down, if at all. So partner up with a buddy and have each other's backs to look after one another. Whether this means avoiding embarrassing situations completely or running interference with those all too willing to take those happy snaps, be sure to share in the TLC.
Be sure you only share images and posts about others that shows them in a positive light too. Appreciation for this behaviour works both ways.
Christmas Party Tip 5
If you've had a crush on Alex from marketing and want to make your move at the Christmas party think about it again. It could work, it could be completely embarrassing, it could end up with a sexual harassment claim. Consider how much alcohol you've had and ask a trusted friend whether it is actually a good idea to really go out on that limb.
Sure, there have been some amazing relationships to come out of office romances that kicked off at the Christmas party, but there have been way more tricky situations that have been challenging to deal with back in the office on Monday; occasionally verses often.
If you do decide that it's a good move, that you both like each other and you won't beat yourself up about it in the morning, then be discreet. If anyone sees something happening it will turn into hot office gossip.
So what about if you're the one being hit on and you aren't interested? Back out of it tactfully - whether it's your boss or a coworker. Drunken male egos are very fragile and can turn ugly quickly. It's much easier to get on with them again on Monday when no feelings are hurt and there's a measure of good grace. And remember, you planned for the evening, you have an exit strategy and there's a life outside of work.
Your Create Your Own Reputation
Work Christmas parties can be a great way to have fun and enhance your career prospects. It's so much easier to make the most of them when you've made a party plan. There are other places and times to really get into the party spirit and dance on tables - work colleagues and bosses just aren't the right audience for that side of you!
Be sure to follow up after the party with a thank you email or note to the organisers and those who footed the bill from their budgets. It's always important to show your gratitude and it's professionally wise to do too. Remember, you create your own reputation.