The party season is upon us, and with it the annual office Christmas party, depending on your perspective, this is either a great chance to let your hair down with your colleagues and talk about something other than work for others or a painful experience plagued with embarrassment opportunities. If you want to make sure your Christmas party is a night you remember for all the right reasons, then our survival guide has all the answers you need.
What should I wear?
Obviously this depends on the event. If the party is just a meal after work, then your favorite work outfit with some tinsel or other festive flair is most appropriate, but if it’s a black tie event then you’re going to want to sparkle. Double check your outfit though, no one wants to be remembered for the next year as “the girl whose boob fell out at the Christmas Party”.
How much advantage should I take of a free bar?
While a free bar may normally seem like a challenge to be conquered, a work party is not the place to get so drunk you embarrass yourself. Remember you have to go to work tomorrow and you want everyone talking about your beautiful dress not you puking on the boss!
Alcohol is the biggest risk factor for making a fool of yourself, so take it easy and enjoy your booze without getting too drunk. Make sure you eat something before the event, drink some water or soft drinks between alcoholic and take a break for some air through the night. If you have a work friend you trust to look after you then you can make a pact to each bundle the other into a cab at the end of the night!
Should I talk to the Boss?
Having friends at work makes you happier and more productive, so a party is a great chance to get to know your colleagues and take those water cooler gossips up a level to real friendships. Try and mingle with everyone, especially early in the night when you are sober, just don’t talk about work, this is a social event. In case you need it spelling out, this is definitely not the time to ask for a pay rise or promotion! Keep the conversation clean – no mentions of your latest sexual conquest or the night you passed out from Sambuca - but chatting to your boss about a great gig you went to or your favorite restaurant or holiday destination is a great way to connect on a personal level, and the Christmas party is a great time to start those conversations.
Can I hit on the hot guy in accounts?
This one comes with a watch out. You spend 30% of your life at work, so naturally a reported 16% of relationships start between co-workers, but remember you risk rejection and the humiliation of seeing him at work the next day, and in an extreme case sexual harassment claims if he doesn’t share your feelings. Test the water with some gentle flirting to check you’re on the same page first, and stay well away if you haven’t followed our drinking advice above. Either way, keep it discrete if you don’t want to be the subject of office gossip for the next year!
How do I get home?
Work friends are great, but they don’t feel the same responsibility to look after you as your besties, so you need to plan ahead a little to make sure you can get home at the end of the night. Plan your route or book a taxi in advance and if possible message someone to make sure you get home ok.
Any last tips?
If you aren’t told you can come in late the next day you should be there on time (If you are given a late pass make sure you’re in 10 mins before the stated time). And while turning up with a bacon sandwich may be ok in a casual office, moaning about your hangover all day is just going to drive everyone bonkers!
It’s definitely possible to have fun at the Christmas party, just keep in control of your behavior and let your hair down, turn your colleagues into friends and have a night you can remember the next day!
Have a great night!
All photo's provided under creatiove commons liscene.
Conversation photo by Matthias Mueller
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