Whether you work in a large corporation or a small business, chances are you’ll be attending a holiday party this season. There’s no need to start groaning about what to wear, what to bring, and how you’re going to survive – we’ve created a detailed guide we like to call How to Enjoy the Office Holiday Party. Now go eat, drink, and be merry!

Before the Party:

  • Don’t even think about skipping it (unless you’re deathly ill – no one wants to deal with that!) Not only does missing the party reflect poorly on you, but it sends the message that you’re not fully committed to your company. Spending a few hours of your life with your coworkers outside of the workplace provides a chance to get to know people better, and to make a good impression!
  • Come prepared for any office gift exchanges. You may not be into the whole “gift exchange” thing (especially if your Secret Santa is a person you don’t know particularly well), but we suggest trying to put some effort into selecting a meaningful gift. If worse comes to worse, there’s always Amazon gift cards!
  • Find out what you can bring. If the gathering is small or low-key, you don’t want to show up empty handed. Whip up a quick dip or stop by a bakery and buy some sweet treats. If the party is more of a large scale event, you can probably skip this step.
  • Unless the party has a theme (such as Ugly Christmas Sweater), wear something appropriate for the situation. Wear attire that you might wear to work, but take it up one notch. Unless it’s a black tie affair, you don’t have to break out the tux…but don’t be afraid to wear something nice!

During the Party:

  • Enjoy yourself. Mingle with your coworkers, introduce yourself to people you don’t know that well, and just remember to avoid being anti-social. Acting/looking bored is also a no-go…you never know who is watching you!
  • But don’t overly enjoy yourself. You know what this means – don’t overdo it on the alcohol. Just remember that the stories of “that one drunk guy at the holiday party” can live on for years to come!
  • Keep the convo nice.This is not the time to gossip about your coworkers or dump your work grievances on your office mates. If you’re running out of things to talk about, just hit up the buffet table!

After the Party:

  • Don’t go fleeing out the door. Try to avoid being the first person to leave. If you can’t stay long, we suggest at least mingling with everyone for an hour…anything shorter sends a negative message.
  • Be sure to thank your host. A lot of work goes into these holiday parties, so before you leave, find the host and thank them for putting together a fantastic event. If you can’t find them before the party is over, sending an email the next day is fine.
  • Don’t post any crazy pictures. If you happen to snap some embarrassing photos of your coworkers, just go ahead and delete them…sharing them with others never results in anything good!

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- YDP