So you’ve been invited to a holiday office party – now what?
Ø Even though the music is playing, food and alcohol is being served, and people are laughing – the office party is a business function. Keeping this in mind before your every action can only lead to successful behavior.
Ø Remember that a lot of women are now in business. No matter what type of business, the women in attendance could well be the boss, manager supervisor, or CEO.
Ø Office parties are usually mandatory. Thus, you cannot avoid them. That doesn’t mean you have to be there from beginning to end, unless it is held during the workday. Arrive on time,mingle, speak to the boss, eat a few hor d’ouevres, thank the host, make a graceful exit.
Ø If the party is not actually at the office, make sure you have accurate directions, so as not to arrive late.
Ø Upon arrival, don’t head straight to the bar or food table. You are at the party to socialize with your co-workers, boss, and to make new connections. Circulate the room before you make your plate or get a drink
Ø When being introduced to someone, make sure you look the person in the eye, and greet them with a firm but not knuckle crushing handshake.
Ø Speaking of handshakes- always keep the right hand clean and free to shake hands. Balance your food, drink, and napkin in your left hand to prevent having to switch items from hand to hand. This may take some practice, but it can be done.
Ø If you have clients that are attending the party, remember they are your responsibility. You should stay close by, make sure they have plenty to eat and drink, and introduce them to the most important people.
Ø Make sure you chat with your co-workers and tell them how great it was to work with them all year. Remember to thank those that worked with you on projects throughout the year.
Ø Eat and drink in moderation. It is better to go back for seconds than to put the entire buffet table on your plate. Keep the alcohol to the barest minimum. This is the worst place ever to get drunk. This action usually leads to the undoing of many. If you do plan to drink, it is a good idea to eat a little before you arrive to reduce the effects of alcohol.
Ø Avoid salty, greasy, or sweet foods. These tend to make you thirsty, giving you an excuse for having an alcoholic beverage. Instead, eat foods that are rich in starch and protein. These stay in the stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.
Ø If the party is being held away from the office determine what is the proper attire before you and your companion arrive. If the party is formal, wear formal dress. Women should wear conservative party dresses. Leave the revealing and bright colored dresses for strictly social affairs and not the office party.
Ø If spouses of employees are invited, make sure they are recognized and treated as real people and not as an appendage. Include them in your conversations and talk to them about their own interests.