How to Enjoy the Office Party Without Ruining Your Career
Thanksgiving has come and gone. We are now officially in the holiday zone. So, before going on with matters related to money and advancing your career we may as well deal with the annual ritual known as the office Christmas party. It is important to deal with it because an office party blunder can actually lead to the ruin of your career.
Companies of all sizes throw annual holiday parties as a way of encouraging comradery. It is also a way for people who work together all year, and have to deal with the ups and downs, the tensions and strains of those relationships, to blow off some steam. But you should take care in how you do so. You don’t want to be one of the millions (at least) of men who wake up the day after the office party and regret what they did the night before.
I have found no better list of office party don’ts than the one on Kiplinger. Here are some of the things you should avoid doing:
- Drinking too much
- Talking about politics or religion
- Spreading office gossip
- Mocking your boss
- Hitting on a co-worker (in a rude way)
The full article can be found here. Chances are you’ve seen someone commit one of these blunders and live to regret it.
Drinking too much seems to be the toughest one to avoid. This is especially the case at office parties in which there is an open bar. But even when people have to pay for their drinks, someone inevitably gets drunk or, worse yet, sick while at the party. The best way to avoid this happening to you is to eat a full meal beforehand. While there, you don’t need to be a prude. But you should know when you’ve had enough.
Another item from the list that resonated with me is hitting on a co-worker. I disagree with the article’s take on this one. It is perfectly fine to flirt with a co-worker who you’ve grown to like. Just be discrete and tactful in the way you do it. It’s also a good idea to have a sense of whether your advances will be welcome. The thing not to be is aggressive, rude, and obnoxious. Remember, you are at a social function, not a night club. You are with people who you have to work with every day.
And this gets to the heart of the matter. Doing something that makes your colleagues or your bosses uncomfortable or leaves them feeling offended can lead to the de-railing of your career. Being moderate in your behavior and gentle in your general manner will allow you to get through the annual holiday party with memories you will enjoy recalling.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.