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How to Survive the Office Christmas Party

Updated on November 24, 2009

While office Christmas parties are supposed to be a time to relax and socialize with your coworkers outside the normal bustle of day to day business life, often they can be sources of embarrassment or worse. A colleague may have a few too many drinks and spill the whole story of his disastrous college ski trip to a group of unsuspecting coworkers. Or the stress of the holiday season may be compounded in a work environment and cause tension at the office. Here are some ways to ensure that you enjoy your holiday office party without endangering your reputation or future career in the process.

1. Attend and be social.

This may sound like what Mom would have said to you about your high school events, but the same is true here. Not coming to the party without a reason may offend your coworkers. At the least, you will miss out on an opportunity to get to know them better—which is especially important if you are new to the company. Once you’ve arrived at the party, mix and mingle with everyone there. While it may be tempting to stick to the one or two people you know the best, the office party can be a perfect opportunity for you to meet new people in the company and introduce yourself to senior leadership that attends. Being seen as a confident, social team player will benefit you in the company in the long run.

2. Do not drink too much.

While drinking can create a more relaxed atmosphere for the Christmas party, drinking too much will only earn you a bad reputation and may possibly cause you to say or do things that you will regret. If you are worried about your alcohol intake, entrust a close friend in your company to let you know when you’ve had enough. And of course, plan on a designated driver or a cab to get you home.

3. Thank your hosts.

Smaller office Christmas parties might be held at someone’s home, while larger offices will generally warrant a separate venue. Either way, planning the office Christmas party is a big task. Someone went to a lot of trouble to ensure that the venue was well decorated and there was enough guacamole dip on the table. Before leaving for the night, be sure to thank your host or hosts for the hard work that went into planning the party.

Image Credit: soapylovedeb, Flickr

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