This blog is a follow up to The annual office Christmas party and the headaches it can create for HR managers . Holiday office parties is a time to get to know some of your co-workers like the payroll manager, who you would otherwise never see unless, you have issues with the inaccuracies of your paycheque, from the antiquated time clock-that your company has not updated. And, yes it is not intended as a boozy event, popularized by the movie Office Christmas Party that would have any HR manager pulling his/her hair out.
In a recent article, titled The Rules of Etiquette for Your Office Holiday Party by J.R. Duren for GlassDoor it contains 5 tips, that can help you can enjoy the company of your colleagues at the office holiday party-while, at the same time, avoid jeopardizing your career.
Here are the 5 tips from the article:
How to dress: Keep it classy
Experts across the board are united in their opinions about several aspects of office parties, attire included.
Lisa M. Grotts, a San Francisco-based etiquette expert, says your holiday party isn’t your chance to go overboard with gaudy outfits.
“Just because an office function is after work hours doesn’t mean it’s an invitation to dress flashy or wear a revealing outfit,” Grotts said. “Skirts should hit your knee and nothing should be too tight. Skip the cleavage-bearing tops.”
We heard the same sentiment from Jacquelyn Youst, a Pennsylvania-based etiquette consultant.
“Office holiday parties are an extension of the office. This is not the time or place to wear your short skirt and low-cut blouse,” Youst said. “Maintain a professional level of decorum.”
This isn’t your chance to push your “I’m casual so I dress casual” agenda, says Laura Handrick, an HR analyst at Fit Small Business.
How to drink: Keep it at two
This is the section you’ve probably been waiting for; all the good horror stories are usually the handiwork of booze and beer. As humorous as these stories can be, jobs and reputations are on the line when you’re four Sazeracs deep and ready to air your grievances.
Carlota Zimmerman, a career expert based in Los Angeles, says you can give yourself a head start by eating before you arrive.
“Even half a sandwich and a protein smoothie will work,” Zimmerman said. “Just get something inside you so that the first martini won’t have you self-righteously glaring at your boss as you mentally assemble your declaration of independence.”
How to converse: Keep it cordial
Office holiday parties require conversational skills — introvert or not, you’re probably going to be forced to talk with someone you don’t know that well.
The rules for conversation are essentially the same as drinking: moderation wins. Don’t get too deep and don’t come off as too superficial.
“Appropriate conversation is any compliment related to the holiday outfit others have chosen or any topic related to the holidays, family time or time off,” Handrick said. “’Will you get to see your mom this Christmas in upstate New York?’ is fine.”
When to leave: Read the room
Once you’ve had your chance to have a couple of drinks and engage in conversation, you may be ready to head home or to another party.
If the second party is better than the first, don’t mention that to your colleagues, Grenny said. And if you’re worried about leaving too early, gauge the atmosphere.
“When it comes to leaving, take your cue from the majority,” he said. “Leave when most people are leaving.”
Saying thank you: The final step
Whether you loved your holiday party or hated it, many of our experts said that expressing your gratitude about the party is a professional and polite way to acknowledge the time and money they put into the party.
Amber Hunter, an employee experience director at A Plus Benefits, said that you can leave a lasting impression on your bosses if you let them know you enjoyed yourself and appreciated the company’s efforts to plan a holiday party.
Bottomline: You spend more time with our co-workers than your family throughout the week. And, in some respect you probably become close friends or they become an extension of your family. The office holiday is a break from everyday work, where you get to meet your co-workers significant other. Have fun and don’t do anything that will make you look foolish and make everyone else uncomfortable.
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