• Antoinette Minor

Holiday Office Party Tips

It's that time of year for holiday parties!  The time of year where your employer wants to appreciate you buy throwing a good old get together.  It's a old HR strategy from the land of corporate time.  From small appreciation lunches to full blown galas, you're either looking forward to your office holiday party or dreading it.  Either way, I always say take the free meal and opportunity to get dressed up with pride.  You worked hard all year and deserve to be spoiled!

So, why do companies have holiday or appreciation parties?  As I mentioned above, your employer feels its a good way to treat you to a nice time and appreciating the work you've done.  Most parties will have award ceremonies for achievements such as department of the year, employee of the year, and employee anniversaries.  There could also be really cool prizes involved.  One year, a company I worked for gave away a vacation!  Activities like this can be added to a list of company benefits to attract new employees and keep current employees engaged.  You'll think twice about leaving a company that provides fun and appreciation... at least thats what HR thinks.    

What most people do not realize is that the holiday party is NOT the time to act a fool. Even if you brought your best girlfriend as your plus one this is not the same as your 25th birthday.  Man, if my company holiday parties were anything like my 25th I'd have a sprained toe every year.  It was a good party... Anyway, your boss is going to be there, remember?!  Now, with that said here are some simple rules to follow so you can get through the party by having fun while being professional.    

Alcohol provided doesn't mean get drunk...

Every year there is always one person or even the same person that gets way too drunk for their own good at the party.  Bruh, if you go to your office party with the intention of getting wasted in front of your coworkers then you're just asking for the death of your career at that company.  That scene will play out all year long in your coworkers' minds, amongst senior management and the gossip will take a while to stop, if ever.  You're lucky if they stop talking about it before the next holiday party.  Ultimately, this can cost you when it comes to earning more opportunities and responsibilities which could increase your pay or even getting that promotion you wanted.  They're judging you... It's not just about if you're qualified to do the job. People need to like you and no one likes the drunk at the party!

Girl, are you really wearing that?

Cocktail dresses, tailored suits, jumpsuits... The possibilities are endless when it comes to dressing up for the office party.  The cool thing is that there is a little wiggle room when it comes to dressing up for the holiday party.  Go ahead and show a little leg or something form fitting but be careful.  Don't show up as the office THOT.  Don't be that hoe over there when you know that's not who you are.  Save your cleavage and mini skirts for the club.  Remember you want to dress based on where the party will be held and there may even be hints of dress code in the invitation.  If its at a country club or hall then you can get glammed up.  If its at the corporate office then a nice suit or skirt will do.  If you are totally clueless try visiting a store that offers styling services to their customer.  Lastly, if you're lucky there won't be much thought of all and all you'll need is your ugly Christmas sweater.   

Network, network and more networking!

If you work for a large company with multiple locations or hundreds of employees... this is your chance!  Get to know them.  Don't sit with your usual group or team if seats are not assigned.  This is the perfect chance to get to know them on a personal level which leaves room for you to send fun emails like, "how's your son doing?," or, "I remember your birthday is coming up. Do you have any plans?"  These emails lead to, "can you tell me more about the new position in your department?" or, "can I shadow you one day this week?"  See where I'm going with this?  You are putting yourself in a position to get to know those you want to be around or potentially work with.  This can super beneficial for your career.  If you're extra ambitious take a seat next to your CEO or senior leadership team.  

Overall, enjoy yourself and have a good time.  I want you to have fun because these events are more fun than not!  Its the end of the year and nobody is really working hard anyway (except you *wink*).  Just remember that you still have to remain a professional to these people on Monday in the office.  As much as people say they can draw a line between in the office time and out of office time, thats just not true for most. You don't need to look or act a fool to make the most of the holiday party.  Point. Blank. Period.

See you at the top,

The Young Professionalist

P.S. If you're getting ready for your year end reviews and haven't tracked your success for the entire year then you need to download the TYP Success Workbook.  I've used these strategies to consistently increase my pay during annual review time.  The workbook is good for you entrepreneurs too.  You can get your free copy here!


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