As we’re now firmly in December, it’s Christmas party time. This can either fill you with excitement or complete dread! Whilst Christmas is a great time to get to know your colleagues better, we think it’s important to strike a balance between having fun with the people you spend a lot of time with but making sure that you aren’t so uptight you’re a bore. So, how can you enjoy the party season and make sure you keep your dignity – and your job.
Well, this is pretty obvious. Understand what your limits are and stick to it. If you’re a regular drinker and know that you can handle your drinks, then that’s fine (and make sure you’ve organised a way to get home if you aren’t able to drive). But if you’re drunk on half a spritzer, it might be a safer option to drive and not drink at all, that way you’re not putting yourself (or your career) at risk.
Be very careful if there is wine at the table for example. Helpful waiting staff can fill up your drink without you noticing, so it’s quite possible that the one glass of wine you think you’ve had is actually five! Stick to what you normally drink and have some water as well.
2 Dress code
Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. We’d suggest a dressier version of what you usually wear to work (so not too tight, short or revealing). It’s fine to discuss what to wear with your colleagues – and if there is a fancy-dress option, make sure nobody is pulling your leg! And if you are dressing up as the star of David or a Christmas tree, make sure there’s no chance of having a wardrobe malfunction!
3 Social Media
Your team might want to put photos on social media – but make sure everybody is comfortable with that, especially if they are going on your company page. It can be tempting (especially if conversation isn’t flowing) to get your phone out and scroll through your social media. Don’t be that person. It’s only one evening so make the effort to make small talk – even if it is difficult. And finally, make sure you’re not tempted to do a Facebook Live on your company page! What you might think your company followers want to see from you at gone-midnight might differ when you watch it back on the way in to work the next day!
4 Office Romance
There are various sources that claim somewhere between 25-39% of workers have got romantic with a co-worker at the work Christmas party. Whilst it could be a good opportunity to flirt with the hot guy from IT, you need to be careful, especially if other people are in relationships. You don’t want to be the cause of a pre-Christmas break up and risk your reputation in your workplace. Again, research would suggest that IT is the most likely sector to engage in some festive frivolities with colleagues and health and education professionals are the least likely. And surprisingly, more senior managers and directors have ‘misbehaved’ at the Christmas party compared to people in more junior roles.
We would love to hear stories about your Christmas parties! Where have you been? What advise can you give to others about keeping their jobs but still enjoying the Christmas party. Let us know!