Holiday Party Etiquette 101

The holidays are coming up, and with all that hustle and bustle comes invitations to after-work functions with your coworkers and boss. This is supposed to be an enjoyable occasion to loosen up and hang out with your colleagues, so there’s no reason to avoid going. However, you shouldn’t loosen up too much, either. Here are some etiquette rules for your first office holiday party.

Don’t just assume you can bring your significant other, spouse, or other guest. Make sure to ask first. It would be incredibly awkward if you walked into the party as the only other person with a plus one.

Make sure you dress up for the occasion. This is a party, so be festive. While eveningwear is best, for women, make sure you don’t show too much. Low-cut gowns and short skirts are still in poor taste, even if you’re not on the clock.

Yes, there’s going to be food and alcohol, and there may even be an open bar. Restrain yourself. There may be a formal dinner, so don’t dive into the appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Don’t consume alcohol to the point where you get tipsy or drunk. That could tarnish your reputation and reflect very badly on you in the future.

Mingle! Keep moving from one group to another, working the room. Take the time to network and meet new people who could help you evolve your career. Know when to exit the conversation. You don’t have to talk exclusively about work, but know which topics to avoid bringing up, such as sex, politics, money, and religion.

Don’t avoid your boss just because you’re not sure what to say to him or her. You don’t have to have a drawn-out conversation, but you should certainly thank them for setting up such a wonderful event. Overall, as long as you keep these rules in the back of your head, you can have a fun, stress-free time at your upcoming holiday party.

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