It’s inevitable—the annual holiday office party. You can pretty much count on it every year. This year approximately 75% of bosses are planning to treat their employees to what they deem to be a festive celebration.
For some, this is a much anticipated and eagerly awaited event. For others, not so much. They would rather face a root canal than have to mix and mingle with the gang from the office.
While the holiday office party is not guaranteed to be your opportunity to gain points with the boss and leverage your next promotion, it can decidedly be the event that tanks your career. Read on for tips that will help you stay out of the danger zone and on the safe side.
- Show up. Attendance is not optional. It is a requirement of the job. If you can’t attend, you need to have a pretty darn good excuse.
- RSVP. If the invitation says “RSVP”, a reply is necessary whether positive or negative. Your boss needs to know how many to plan for.
- Say what you will do and do what you say. If you reply that you will attend, do so. If you say that you cannot attend, don’t show up unannounced.
- Don’t arrive with unexpected guests. Only those who are named on the invitation should make an appearance. If your babysitter cancels at the last minute, don’t take the kids.
- Arrive on time. This is your best chance to be noticed by the boss and to interact with others in attendance.
- Engage your boss in conversation. This needs only be a light exchange. It is definitely not the time to talk business. A hint: to start the conversation, find something to compliment the boss on–perhaps an accessory such as his clever holiday tie or her attractive necklace or gorgeous scarf.
- Don’t hog the buffet table. The food may be delicious, but you are not there for the food. If you have a bite to eat before you go, you are less likely to find yourself overdoing it at the buffet table.
- Mix and mingle with your co–workers and colleagues. This is your opportunity to do some team building so go for it even if some of those people are not your close friends.
- Go with some conversation starters in mind. If you are not comfortable talking to people whom you don’t know well, have some ideas of topics you can talk about. But remember that all you really have to do is ask people about themselves and they will take that ball and run with it.
- As always, watch the alcohol. Have one or two drinks at the most. If you crave another, have it when you get home.
Drive safe; stay safe, have fun and watch your P’s and Q’s. You want to wake up the day after the holiday party with no regrets and know that you were your most professional polished self.
P.S. It is not too late to grab your copy of my e-book on holiday business tips for surviving the season.
P.S. Neither is it too late to order your copy of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or anyone you know who wants to get ahead in the business world.
Lydia Ramsey is business etiquette and modern manners expert, keynote speaker, seminar leader and author of Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits. Based in Savannah, Georgia, she travels across the US and as far away as India and Dubai to work with clients that include universities, corporations, small businesses, associations and non-profit organizations. Her topics range from flip-flops to forks. Visit her website www.lydiaramsey.com for more information about her services and resources.