Many news organizations have recently published my annual list of holiday party guidelines. The suggestions encourage employees to enjoy the celebration without making career-damaging mistakes.
If you haven’t seen the list online or in your local paper, here are the 7 guidelines for office party success:
1. Remember to RSVP. Let people know that you will attend. And provide a very good reason if you cannot. It’s a business activity and you will be expected to participate.
2. Don’t post negative opinions about the party on your social media sites. Tweeting that you don’t want to attend isn’t appropriate. Also, do not post on Facebook, during or after the event, photos that show or comments that describe someone’s unbecoming behavior.
3. Schmooze with people. Keep the conversation upbeat. Complaining about the company or the economy is a downer. Don’t talk negatively about others. Talk to people you know and don’t know. And remember that the person you meet at the party may turn out to be the person who interviews you for your next job.
4. Dress appropriately. It may be a party, but your attire needs to be suitable for a business event, not a nightclub.
5. Do not get drunk. To stay sober set a limit for yourself before you go to the event. Or, order a drink you don’t like and sip it slowly all night. It’s easy do something outrageous when you’ve had too much to drink.
6. Pay attention to your posture. Stand tall. Poor posture tells others that you are uncomfortable or bored. Don’t slouch. You want to appear confident.
7. Say “goodbye” and “thank you” to the host or party organizers. You will usually want to send a thank-you note, also.