Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Office Party Ettiquette

December has finally arrived, ushering in all things holiday related – gift giving, cookie exchanging, and what’s known for some as walking through the mine field that is the Holiday Office Party. With this in mind, here are some friendly how-to’s on holding onto your job and reputation this holiday season.

1. What to Wear: Unless you work in the Adult Film industry, refrain from wearing body-hugging, slinky dresses with plunging necklines. Ditto for too-short skirts that leave little to the imagination. For men, wear pressed dark slacks with a smart jacket and tie combination. Remember that it is better to be overdressed than underdressed at these company gatherings.

2. Work Your Network: By all means, use this as the great networking opportunity that it is. Have you secretly wanted a transfer to another department? Remember that it’s who you know that usually gets your foot in the door. So go ahead and introduce yourself to people and get to know them on a social level!

3. What To Say: Some people are great at idle chit chat. Others, not so much. The rule of thumb here is to avoid talking shop – this is a party after all. Instead, use this opportunity to get to know your colleagues better. Do they have kids? Pets? Hobbies? What are their plans for the holidays? Have they done all their Christmas shopping yet?

4. What To Drink: The human resources professional comes out loud and clear on this one. Know your limits and for goodness sake, stay within them! Many of our most embarrassing moments in life usually occurred while we were intoxicated. Alcohol has a tricky way of loosening our inhibitions, making us act strangely. What we say and do while inebriated can (and most likely WILL) come back to haunt us. I refer to this as Career Limiting Moves. Exhibit A? Mel Gibson’s 2006 DUI arrest comes to mind. His career just hasn’t been the same since.

5. How To Act: I know this might seem like the best time and place to flirt with that copy girl you’ve had your eye on for weeks. She might even be smiling at you from across the dance floor… Whatever the case, remember that you’re likely viewing the situation through beer goggled eyes and that technically, you’re still considered to be on company time, not out clubbing with your friends. Stay in control and keep your interactions on a professional level. The last thing you want is to be slapped with a sexual harassment claim and some other Career Limiting Move.


With these tips in mind, remember above all to have fun and enjoy the celebration. You’ve worked hard all year, and this is your time to celebrate your accomplishments with your colleagues. Happy holidays to all!


In Bliss,
Coach Sandy

Sandy Kiaizadeh
Find Your Bliss Coaching