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Office Holiday Party Etiquette

8 Things You Shouldn't Do at Your Company Holiday Party

It's that time of the year again when the people at your company get together for a little holiday shindig. If you go about it the right way, your annual office party can be a great time for you to meet people in your company that you've always wanted to get to know better. In fact, a party can raise your visibility in your company and lead to a promotion down the line. Just make sure you don't commit any of these office party faux pas:

  • Get way too drunk. You're allowed to have some alcohol, but make sure you pace and limit yourself. If you want to know how much you can drink, Grub Street has a neat infographic that cites the right amount of liquor each type of employee should imbibe.
  • Stick to your tribe. If you already belong to a clique in the office, use the party as an opportunity to stray away from the pack. After all, you see those familiar faces all the time. Who knows? You may develop great new friendships outside of your circle.
  • Talk about work the whole time. Seriously, don't talk about the broken copy machine or how much work you're going to have to do when you get into the office tomorrow. Try to think of nonwork topics to lighten the mood. Talking about the daily grind may seem second nature to you when you're around colleagues, but it can stress people out because it's reminding them of work.
  • Gossip or complain. Don't be a debbie downer and moan about work or talk about the latest office gossip. People can easily overhear what you're saying so you might want to save your personal comments for another time.
  • Invite too many people. This party isn't an opportunity for you and your friends to take advantage of the free food and booze. Just invite one person with you to the party if you're allowed to. Remember to check to see if you can even bring guests to the party to begin with. Remember, the point of the party is for you to mingle with your colleagues, so it's better to fly solo for this event.
  • Ignore the dress code. Do dress appropriately for the party, and if you're new at the company, ask other employees who were at last year's holiday party about the dress code. Leave anything short, tight, and skimpy at home — this is still a work function.
  • Be tongue tied. If you're generally a shy person, you might not know what to say when it comes to talking to a superior or a colleague you're not acquainted with. Do some prep before hand to brainstorm a list of prompters so you'll never have to worry about awkward silences.
  • Forget to thank the organizers. Make sure you take the time to thank the people who coordinated and organized the party. They obviously have put in a lot of effort to make sure you'll have a good time and they'll definitely appreciate the acknowledgement from you.
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