How to stay classy and maintain your professional reputation at your office party!

It’s the party you’ve been waiting for and talking about for months. Your boss has hired an awesome venue, rented a DJ and is providing the food and drinks. It’s the annual office bash that you and your colleagues won’t forget.

You’ve worked hard all year round and given your boss 110%. Now it’s time for you to get dressed up, have a drink on the company, let loose and have a blast.

Hhhhhhmmm…. Not quite!

Although it is an office party, try not to take the word ‘party’ too literally. Nobody wants to get so ridiculously drunk that they lose their purse, forget to lock the toilet, allowing their boss to walk in on them or tell a Senior Director what they really think about them.

If you weren’t aware, there’s an unspoken code of conduct that is required at office parties which we should all follow.

So here are a few pointers on how to maintain your professional etiquette and make sure that you’re not the talk of the office on Monday morning and for the following weeks to come…

#1 Dress to Impress:

The location, time and theme of the party should indicate the dress code. You don’t want to show too much skin or be blinging like a Christmas tree – find something suitable in-between. If you want to get in the holiday mode, try adding something fun but tasteful, like red suspenders or ties for men and sparkly red belts or pumps for women.

#2 Stay within the Limits:

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Otherwise, you might say or do something you will later regret. This can get you into trouble or alter someone’s favourable opinion of you. Also, be sure not to drink and drive, doing so would show your colleagues and managers that you lack responsibility.

#3 Gifts for Colleagues:

Often parties involve a gift exchange or Secret Santa. Stay within the recommended price range. Avoid purchasing anything risqué or personal. Remember that this is an office party so it’s important to treat it professionally, rather than as a casual meeting between a group of friends.

#4 Greet the Host:

Arrive on time and be sure you thank the hosts for their efforts organising the party. If you don’t know the hosts personally, take this opportunity to introduce yourself. The hosts are usually your boss’ assistants, so it’s good to thank them at the end of the evening and congratulate them on the epic party which they’ve held.

#5 Keep your conversation light:

Take this opportunity to get to know your colleagues personally, but not too personally. Get to know their interests and engage in conversation. If their spouse or partner is also attending, take the time to get to know them and try and draw upon some similarities.

This is your time to shine and really show your boss and colleagues how you behave when you’re out of the office.

Don’t forget, inappropriate behaviour could be damaging to your professional reputation and could result in you not being promoted or even being fired.

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