Enjoying Social Occasions at the office with ease: Holiday Party Etiquette

The Holiday season is in full swing and there are invitations for all sorts of holiday occasions. While these events are a great time to relax and have fun with friends and colleagues, they also come with stress of appropriate behavior; knowing well that your character and professionalism are also judged at social events. Here are a few tips to keep your office party experience fun and professional.

1. Arrive on time: Except you have an emergency, it is always important you make an effort to go to your company’s office party and to do so on time. It is always great to be early and this gives you time to connect with your colleagues present and possible your executives who arrive on time.

2. Dress appropriately: The office party is not the place to debut your low-plunging LBD (Little Black Dress). Chances are if it is not appropriate for work, it’s probably not appropriate for the holiday party either. Avoid plunging lines, very tight outfits, shorts, and anything that discredits you as a professional. It’s better to leave a more conservative impression than an impression that may color a coworker's view of you professionally.

3. Engage and Enjoy: it's important to interact with your co-workers at the party. It does not mean you have to be in the center of the dance floor or become the life of the party. You also shouldn’t be sitting in the corner looking at your watch the entire time. How well you engage with colleagues and fit in with the company culture says well about you in the workplace.

4. Watch that bar: It’s easy to let yourself loose with free booze going around in the party. You want to be careful of consuming too much alcohol. You don’t want to get drunk at your office party and to have to hide yourself and feel embarrassed on Monday morning because of bad drunken behavior

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5. About a plus one: If you're allowed to bring a guest, definitely do so whether you are bringing a significant other or a close friend. However, do be careful when choosing a guest -- bringing your "party animal" friend may not be a good idea for your office holiday party.

6. Watch your conversation: in a social gathering, it’s easy to get caught up in office gossip. Stay clear of gossip during the party. It is never a good idea to bash anyone whether its your colleagues, your boss or your employers. At a party, it is easy for word to get around. Avoid vulgar discussions, racial jokes and sexual comments.

Enjoy, have fun, and don’t forget to thank the planners of the event.

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