It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You know, the only time of the year when your company, that gives you absolutely nothing free all year and would charge you for toilet paper if they could, throw the employees and staff a holiday party. You cannot wait to attend and eat all the free food and drink all the free liquor you can. Before you grab a doggy bag and head over to the company holiday party, the following are five don’ts to help you keep your sanity and your job.
1. Do dress well. Don’t overdress or underdress.
Do look festive but showing up in a ball gown is a sure way to let everyone know you don’t get out much. Neither look like you’re going to be walking the streets after the party. Avoid overly tight clothes and clothing with cheap materials that highlight what you should be hiding. Dress festive but moderately. Don’t go from business suit during office hours to wrecking ball after hours. You may think it’s just for one night at a company party, but thanks to your coworkers’ and your boss’ memories (and cellphone cameras), you will have a hard time living this ratchet fashion moment down. Plus you’ll give off a desperate thirst. Keep it classy.
2. Do Dance. Don’t twerk.
The deejay is playing your favorite jams and everyone is on the dancefloor. Your one favorite song that takes you back to a high school moment or your college days comes on and you’re tempted to lose it on the dance floor. Don’t give in. Keep it together. You’re not at home or out with your friends. Plus you don’t wanna be that person whose ratchet dancing and shenanigans go viral in the office. Twerk at home. Twist at the office party. Oh and if you know you cannot dance, don’t let the office holiday party be the day you find courage to bust a move. Embarrassing yourself on the dancefloor would be difficult for your colleagues to forget.
3. Do have a drink if you drink (if you can). Don’t get drunk.
There may be alcohol flowing and deejay jamming at your company holiday party, but remember: you’re still at work. You must maintain professional protocol. I always recommend not drinking at work parties. It’s often hard to maintain professional conversations and behavior when you’ve been drinking because you’re not as sharp as you need to be when you’ve hard a drink or two or seven. Don’t risk it. Stay woke and alert. If you’re going to drink, know your limit and subtract your limit by a third. Getting inebriated at the company party isn’t cute and could be professionally suicide. Plus your boss is watching how you handle yourself in a social setting. When promotion time comes, no one is going to promote Frank the tank.
4. Do bring your spouse (if you’re happily married; company party isn’t the place to have one of your loud arguments). Don’t bring the date of the week.
Keeping your personal life private is important to your professional success. If you’re not married or in a serious long term relationship, attend solo. Bringing a different date to every company function opens the doors of speculation into your personal life. You may say “well that’s my business.” True but when you bring your personal life to company functions, parties and events, your personal business becomes everyone’s business. If you’re not married or in a serious long term relationship, attend the company holiday party by yourself. Chat and mingle with your colleagues and have a great time. Don’t feel the urge to grab someone to take with you because everyone else is bringing their spouses or dates. Oh and don’t grab your homegirl or bestie to accompany you. You’re not in middle school and this is not the eight grade dance. You’re at a company event for employees and their spouses and significant others. Bringing some random best friend makes you both look thirsty and greedy. Plus you’ll be violating the spirit of the party by making your company feed your friend. Your boss won’t take too kindly to that. Plus it shows you’re incapable of spending two hours without a comfort blanket.
5. Do chitchat. Don’t get inappropriate with your conversations
Company holiday party is a great time to get to know your coworkers and bosses better. You’ll have uninterrupted time to just kickback and enjoy great conversations and laughter. But this is no time to pull out your best inappropriate jokes and viral offensive YouTube videos. Stay away from political commentaries, and making fun about things that are not funny can seriously derail your career. Keep the conversations light and G-rated. Avoid using any and all profanities and don’t gossip. No one wants to promote a person who has no control over his or her tongue. You may think you’re at a company party but you are being watched. So mind your business and your manners.