How to survive your office Christmas party
The invite to your offices annual Christmas party pops up into your mailbox. Does it fill you with excitement or sheer terror and dread?
For introverts or those who don't drink nor enjoy the company of their co-workers, office parties can be uncomfortable experiences.
But there are positives to be found whatever your standpoint. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to make your Christmas 'do a little more manageable:
Do view it as a networking exercise
Technically, Christmas parties are a time to unwind and forget about work. But, if you’re that way inclined, they can also be great opportunities to connect and build a better rapport with office bigwigs you’d never speak to on an average working day, or someone you’re keen to befriend. Who knows where a chat over the buffet table could lead!
Office parties are a great way to make an impression with company decision-makers. Just make sure it’s a good one.
Keep the conversation light and avoid talk about projects or office politics; instead wow them with your dazzling personality rather than any specific work idea you may have.
It's best to do this at the start of the night, before the Shandies kick in and the chances of your schmoozing going horribly wrong heavily increase.
Don’t tag pictures
Christmas parties are similar to Las Vegas. Cheesy, a bit contrived and most importantly: What happens there should stay there.
With all the drink on offer it’s unlikely that your colleagues will be on their best behaviour; but that’s what Christmas parties are all about! There may be hilarity ensuing - cringeworthy dance moves to say the least- but that doesn’t mean you should risk causing severe embarrassment by documenting your team members whilst they’re in a vulnerable state.
Just don’t take any photographic evidence at all.
Don’t post unflattering pictures of your colleagues on social media and don’t tag your colleagues in said unflattering pictures. Better yet, don’t take any photographic evidence at all. Put down your phone and live in the moment.
Do bring your own cigarettes
During work hours you’re a staunch non-smoker. You tut at even the slightest whiff of second-hand smoke and keep count of the amount of cigarette breaks Lesley from Marketing takes each day (Four by midday).
This is until you’ve had three glasses of red wine, whereupon you turn into Patsy from Ab Fab, and seek to find a cigarette from any and every unsuspecting benefactor.
Most smokers will happily sponsor you a cigarette or two. After that, you’ll be labelled as an annoyance or worse “a ponce”. So if you plan to puncture the night with regular trips to the smoking area, BYOF: bring your own fags.
Don’t get too comfortable
Be sure to let your hair down and have fun; you’ve worked hard all year and deserve to celebrate that fact. However, you should also bear in mind that you’re partying with colleagues who tolerate you mainly because they are contractually obligated to.
Have fun but maintain a certain level of professionalism.
Avoid discussing sensitive subject matter like politics and religion and try to leave at a sensible hour before you declare your love for your office crush or pour out the details of your taxi expense scam to Erin from Payroll.