The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

christmas party time at the office

It’s Christmas party time at the office and it’s not all play time, ya know…

Office parties offer a great chance to make a great impression – or not. You can either put your best foot forward or shoot yourself in the foot, so go into party mode knowing what your objectives are. Are you there to mingle with your co-workers, build rapport, earn their respect or are you there to win the traditional game of quarters that happens late at night every year? Are you there for a chance to impress the company president and his wife or are you there for the beef tenderloin?

 You should be considering the office party a way to promote yourself. Use these tips to make yourself comfortable, charming and absolutely fabulous:

  • Attend. Don’t give up the chance to hang out with your colleagues and get to know what makes them tick.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol. Stories that come from drunken office party mishaps do not die quickly or quietly.
  • When you get there, seek out the highest level person responsible for the gathering, shake their hand and thank them for a nice event.
  • Hold your drink in your left hand. This leaves your right hand dry and ready for a handshake.
  • If you are to wear a nametag, wear it on the right side of your chest.
  • Don’t go through the food line more than once piling your plate high. First, it looks greedy. Second, you shouldn’t spend so much time on the food when you could be rubbing elbows with the new marketing manager putting together a team to evaluate a new client from Rio.
  • Some people simply are not comfortable in a group social setting – even if it is a for-business function. Be sure to speak to those that look most uncomfortable. Your initiative will be noticed by higher-ups and you can be certain the favor won’t be lost on your co-worker. This is the sort of act that will come back to you twofold.   

Savvy Suggestion Practice these tips at purely social events so you will be ready when office party time rolls around.


2 responses to “christmas party time at the office

  1. Suzanne Nourse December 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    This should be handed out with the office party invitation Kate!
    I’m sure we all remember the behaviour of “Joe” from the party several years ago. This goes for the partner of the employee too.

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