Office Holiday Party: 10 Survival Tips

Photo illustration by Rolando Espinoza

The Holiday Season is here and it’s time for the annual Office Holiday Party. Just because we live in glitzy Los Angeles doesn’t mean that there are no rules. Really?! Here are some helpful tips to help you navigate the Holiday Party circuit.

TIP 01: Do Show Up
The annual office holiday party is an extension of the business office and therefore, an extension of work. Be sure to attend the party – even if for a short while. Being a “no-show” could have you incorrectly labeled as uncommunicative and not a team player.

TIP 02: Don’t Be Fussy
The party is being given for your benefit, so make sure to at least pretend to enjoy. Employee attitude makes or breaks a holiday event, so get into it. Somebody in the firm worked hard to organize the staff party; have some gratitude for the fete instead of being ultra demanding.

TIP 03: Do Mingle
You’ve worked hard with your team all year long, so now it’s time to celebrate and sing karaoke. Remember to socialize with the people in the organization you hardly know; you could make a new friend. Get to know your colleagues on a personal level. Ask about their kids, favorite sports, or recent vacation destinations. Remember to be a good listener. (see Tip 06)

TIP 04: Don’t Drink Too Much
Oh boy, is this one important! It’s all fun and games until someone starts crying or fighting or throwing up or passing out…you get the picture. In the immortal words of recording artist Prince, “Act your age, not your shoe size.” If you are not used to your drinking limit, the rules for alcohol are simple: have two and no more – seriously. (see Tip 06 and/or Tip 10)

TIP 05: Do Bring Money
This may sound absurd, but don’t leave the house without the cold cash. In these days of cutbacks, not all companies offer open bars or complimentary wine with dinner. You also want to be prepared to pay cab fare — yours or an inebriated colleague’s.

TIP 06: Find Holiday Romance
If that gorgeous female assistant or hunky accounting guy gives you “the eye,” this could be your big chance to get to know someone. Keep in mind that alcohol may be a factor in his/her actions and that mixing business with pleasure requires careful consideration. Many relationships have flourished from office friendships but know what you’re getting into. Avoid sexual harassment charges.

TIP 07: Bonus Wars
This one is for all the bosses out there; a BAD office Holiday Party rule is to pass out bonuses the day of the party or during the party. Do this on another day – it’s simple to do. If you pass out bonuses during the party, your staff will compare the varying bonus amounts and might get “fussy.” (See Tip 02)

Tip 08: Significant Other
Don’t assume that your significant other is on the invite list. Find out if your colleagues are bringing significant others; you may feel twitchy if you bring the only non-employee. Guests should also be savvy enough to follow the same rules you have to follow. If you do not have a significant other, this is not the best venue for a first date. (see Tip 06 and/or Tip 09)

TIP 09: Avoid Holiday Romance
If that gorgeous female assistant or hunky accounting guy gives you “the eye,” you may want to do your career a favor and refuse his/her advances. Alcohol may be a factor in his/her actions, and your response. Mixing business with pleasure requires careful consideration as many careers have been derailed due to an unplanned office party alliance. Avoid sexual harassment charges.

TIP 10: Keep It Legal
Needless to say, don’t end up in jail. No drugs, no drunk driving – no kidding.


Content written by ISES Member Rolando Espinoza, Champagne Creative Group


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