Holiday office parties are filled with opportunities to network with your bosses and colleagues and get to know them outside of the daily work schedule.  However, one needs to be careful because a misstep during a holiday office party could be disastrous.  Below are some do’s and don’ts for office parties that you might find helpful.

Holiday Office Party Do’s

Attend, even if it’s optional

Many holiday office parties are optional. Unless you are not already committed to something, it is good manners to attend. Attending optional work events benefits you and your career. It shows that you want to get to know your colleagues outside of the office. It also demonstrates to your boss and colleagues that you are truly invested in developing strong personal relationships outside of work which, in turn, will boost morale during work hours.

Introduce any guest that you bring

If your holiday office party permits you to bring a “plus one”, be certain to introduce your guest to your colleagues. Your “plus one” does not have to be a romantic interest, you can also bring a friend.  Do not say the name of your guest and then move on. Introduce them with a fun anecdote or some other fact that can spark a conversation with your colleagues. Make sure your guest is comfortable in social situations just in case you get separated.  Your guest needs to be able to socialize on his or her own, even for just a little while.

Keep the conversation light

Stay away from business and discuss things you have in common besides work.  Ask what their plans are for the holidays or what family traditions they love to celebrate every year. People love to talk about themselves and all you have to do is listen!

Holiday Office Party

 

Holiday Office Party Don’ts

Over drink 

You should enjoy yourself, but also remember to pace yourself when it comes to alcohol. You don’t want to gain the reputation of someone who cannot handle alcohol. Do not become the talk of the party for the wrong reasons!

Give extra gifts in front of everyone 

If you have that work best friend that you want to give an extra gift to outside of the regular office gift exchange, make sure you’re not giving it to him or her in front of everyone. As a colleague, you don’t want to make others feel that they somehow don’t value their relationship as much as others.  As a rule, if you didn’t get something for everyone, then wait to give the gift in private.

Forget to give gifts 

On the other side of colleague gift exchange, don’t forget to get gifts if that is the office standard! If your office does a gift exchange, make sure you get something personalized for the person you are gifting. Ask around for their favorite place to eat, movie or a book they’ve been wanting to read. Don’t wait until the last minute to find a suitable gift.