How to enjoy your work holiday party (and not ruin your career)

The work holiday party is meant to be an enjoyable time. A chance to relax and relish in all the success your company has had this year. But while you certainly want to have a good time, you also need to remember that it is a work event, and a certain level of professionalism must be maintained.

Here are our top tips for enjoying your work holiday party, while making sure you still have a job the next day.

If there is a formal invitation, RSVP on time. Nothing is more annoying for the party planners than not knowing the number of guests to expect at the event.

  • Eat, drink, and be merry. Just in moderation.
  • Dress appropriately. Even if your holiday party is a formal/cocktail event, remember you work with these people. Ladies, now is not the time to break out your shortest skirt or most revealing top. And guys, don’t wear your holey jeans, flannels, and ball caps.
  • Be sure you introduce yourself (and guest) to anyone on the executive team. If you work for a large organization, the holiday party may be the only time you meet the VPs or CEO for the year.
  • Don’t skip the party unless you have a serious conflict. It’s in your best interest to show up for at least an hour.
  • Unless specifically instructed in the invitation, don’t bring gifts to the party. If you are giving a token of thanks to some of your colleagues, find another opportunity.
  • Mingle with people outside your department. With everyone in the holiday spirit, it’s easier to start conversations with people. And who knows, you might make some new friends!
  • Don’t talk about work related issues. The whole point of the holiday party is to relax. If you spend the whole time talking work problems, it will feel like just another day at the office.
  • On your way out, be sure to thank the employees who planned the event. They put a lot of work into the night, making sure you have a good time. Thank them for their efforts.
  • Say goodbye/goodnight to your boss before leaving. It’s one last chance to get facetime with someone who you might not get a lot of on a regular basis.

Hope these tips help you use your work holiday party as a platform to enhance, not hinder your career.