Ahhh the company Christmas party. Once upon a time, the company Christmas party was an office party with staff in Santa hats and Christmas sweaters guzzling spiked eggnog and behaving inappropriately in the photocopy room.
While most of us know the obvious things NOT to do at a company Christmas party, like lip-locking with our coworkers and photocopy our butts to give out as ‘presents’, the very nature of the company Christmas party has changed. Contrary to popular belief, your company Christmas party is NOT the time to let loose and party with your coworkers.
Here’s the thing. No matter how festive the occasion, a company Christmas party is still about business. And if you make an ass out of yourself, you could easily ruin your hard-earned professional reputation.
I don’t mean to sound like a Grinch here, you can still eat drink, be merry and all that jazz, just in moderation. (Save the cutting loose for the after-party.) While it might seem like a good idea to saddle up to the bar a few times, you don’t want to say or do anything stupid that you’ll need to apologize for later.
Seems pretty obvious, yes?
For women, the eternal question of what to wear is more important than ever. Here’s a solid piece of advice from most career experts: A company Christmas party is NOT the place to strut your stuff. Do yourself a favour and leave anything short, tight, sexy and/or revealing in your closet. Ho Ho Ho! Don’t dress like a ho! Keep ‘the girls’ under wraps. Not saying that you have to dress like a nun, but think about what your wardrobe choice is saying. You’ve worked hard to create a professional image, and revealing clothes can alter your coworkers’ and manager’s perception of you as a competent professional.
So now you are dressed festively, but professionally. You had one cocktail and are ready to… MINGLE. Even though it’s a party, it’s a company party, so work the room. Chat with people you don’t typically interact with daily. Making conversation is the key to shining like a Christmas star at the office party. In fact, this is a great time to introduce yourself to the CEO and/or VPs. How often do you get the opportunity to chat with these people? You may be surprised to learn how much you have in common.
It should also go without saying to make sure to thank the people who organized the party. Not only is saying thank you the nice thing to do, but it also makes you stand out from the many employees who don’t. And finally, don’t leave without saying “goodbye”. It’s not only polite but necessary.
I leave you with a survey about company Christmas parties: