Annual office Christmas parties can be a lot of fun. They allow you to mingle with co-workers on a social level, strengthen existing professional relationships and create new ones. You mustn’t be fooled, however, despite the bells and whistles, glitz and glam, a social work function is still just that and one wrong move could spell disaster for any budding career. You need to be mindful of the way you are projecting your professional image— stay on brand. The way you behave is an outward projection of who you are, so do kick your heels up, just be careful not to kick yourself in the process.
The following guidelines will help you navigate the most treacherous of work functions:
- Never binge drink or become intoxicated. This is the fastest way to ruin a reputation. Maintaining control over your faculties is essential in any professional context.
- Avoid excessive flattery, especially toward those people who you perceive to be in positions of power. This can cause awkwardness and may make you appear insincere.
- Never be the last to leave. If anything scandalous occurs, you will be associated with that scandal, whether you were there or not.
- Do not make sexual advances towards any of your colleagues, you will be the talk of the office well into the future.
- Avoid dressing too provocatively, your professional image could bear the brunt of the backlash.
- Mingle. Don’t be afraid to converse with people that aren’t in your immediate circle of friends and use these conversations as networking opportunities.
- Do not engage in any illegal behavior including the consumption of illegal drugs. Not only would you be breaking the law but you would risk causing irreparable damage to any future career prospects.