Christmas party etiquette

Thursday November 22, 2007

During the festive season, many people forget that the Christmas office party is more about office than party.

The idea is to eat, drink and be merry, but in moderation, as columnist Samantha Brett explains.

"It's that time of the year again, but it's worth remembering that the fun and frivolity of the office Christmas party can leave you with more than a hangover if you don't follow proper Chrissie party etiquette," says Ms Brett.

"One of the biggest rules it to dress appropriately," she says. "Inappropriate dress at an office party draws attention, but the wrong kind."

"Eat before you go," she suggests. "There's nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.

"Get a buddy. Make sure they watch out for when you start to get messy, in case you start stripping, pole dancing or flirting excessively with the boss. That's their cue to step in and possibly send you home in a cab."

Party do's:

  • Mingle with everyone first. Don't head directly to the bar or buffet table as soon as you arrive.
  • Any clients you invite are your responsibility; make sure you introduce them to others. Keep your right hand free to shake hands.
  • Try to speak to every person in the room, if only to wish them happy holidays. Keep in mind that some people don't celebrate Christmas.
  • Make conversation with your boss' spouse. In fact, be friendly with everyone's significant other. They'll remember your kindness and courtesy and may prove influential in your future career.
  • Avoid talking shop with co-workers.
  • Watch your language. Avoid foul language, vulgar terms and inappropriate topics. Limit jokes to people you already know. Test a few on your friends beforehand.
  • The company office party may offer a chance to chat with the CEO or other senior managers you don't speak with often. Consider what you will say if the opportunity arises.
  • Mind your manners
  • Have fun and be a good sport. If the DJ holds a contest, participate and try to draw other people into the fun. You'll be seen as a natural leader.

Party don'ts:

  • The blow-off: The biggest error is not going to an office party that is a "must-attend" event. If you do that, you show disrespect for your company, your supervisors and your colleagues. That's a career-killer.
  • Forgetting the boss is watching: Senior managers pay attention to how people handle themselves at corporate events. They might not know your name, but they will remember your face.
  • T-shirts and sandals: Inappropriate dress at an office party draws attention, but the wrong kind. The goal is to display professional qualities, not show how funky or daring you are. Avoid clothing that's too tight or revealing; it's a party, but they're still your co-workers.
  • The business-talking bore: Some young professionals let ambition drive them. They don't know how to enjoy conversation unless it is about business. They become bores whom bosses avoid.
  • Me, me, me: Self-centred young professionals will have trouble working in teams with others and co-workers and bosses pick up on this.
  • Who's the boss?: It is amazing, but some young professionals do not introduce themselves to senior managers at a company party. They are afraid of what a boss might think or they don't realise the importance of a face-to-face meeting. They should not be surprised when bosses ignore them when it comes time for advancement.
  • About my pay: An employee who raises pay or other personal issues at a company party is marked as a person who does not understand what is and is not appropriate at social events. No employer wants that person in charge of others higher up on the corporate ladder.
  • Hanky-panky: No longer is an office party an excuse for employees to become intimate. Now it means sexual harassment charges and dismissal for one or both individuals.
  • Drinking to excess at a company party will kill a career instantly. Don't have more than two alcoholic beverages or better yet, don't drink at all.
Follow us on Facebook
Most Liked on Facebook
advertisement
Our sites - most read articles
Top stories
Latest news headlines - Ninemsn NewsLatest news headlines and breaking news from Australia and the world. uuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=175622014-07-22T19:34:16Zhttp://9news.static9.net.au/content/images/rss-logo.pnguuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17563Mum lay fatally injured for 12 hoursPolice investigating the suspicious death of a Queensland mother-of-four are expected to interview the man she was living with today.2014-07-23T04:26:23+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17564‘Smashed TV, broken glass and a hole in the wall’: Darius Boyd allegedly leaves hotel with $1500 damage billNewcastle fullback Darius Boyd could face a club investigation following reports he left a luxury hotel room with $1500 worth of damage last week.2014-07-23T05:08:13+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17565 Joe Hockey 'thought tough budget was too soft'<p>A new book by a Fairfax columnist claims Joe Hockey wanted to release an even tougher budget but backed down after the prime minister intervened.</p>2014-07-23T04:35:17+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17566Formula One legend Michael Schumacher 'fluttering eyelashes'Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is reportedly now able to communicate with his family by fluttering his eyelashes.2014-07-23T04:43:14+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17567Plane wreckage 'hacked into' with sawsLarge pieces of the MH17 wreckage have been "hacked into", according to an international observer with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.2014-07-23T04:29:39+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17568Three charged over alleged sexual assault on teenage girl in Sydney car park<p>Three people have been charged over the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in the stairwell of a car park in Liverpool, south-west of Sydney.</p>2014-07-23T00:47:00+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17569Bill Clinton still has a mistress: book<p>Bill Clinton has a blonde mistress who often visits when Hillary is not home, according to a new book by a former Washington Post reporter.</p>2014-07-23T04:18:43+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17570Palestine pushes Hamas for truce<p>A senior Palestinian official has said talks to encourage militant group Hamas to accept a truce in Gaza are ongoing.</p>2014-07-23T04:16:09+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17571UN shelter shelled in Gaza<p>A United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians in central Gaza came under Israeli fire as a team was inspecting damage from a day earlier.</p>2014-07-23T03:46:02+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17572US intelligence could prove pro-Russian rebels shot down MH17US officials are expected to soon present data backing up the theory that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.<br>2014-07-23T03:33:53+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17573US airlines banned from Israel flightsThe Federal Aviation Administration has banned US airlines from flying to and from Israel for at least 24 hours following a rocket strike near Tel Aviv's main airport.<br>2014-07-23T03:20:18+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17574White flags flown above Brooklyn BridgeDaring vandals have swiped the US flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced them with white banners.<br>2014-07-23T03:02:21+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17575Nigerian president meets relatives of hostage schoolgirls, 100 days since their capture<p>Relatives scarred by Boko Haram's mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls recounted their nightmare to President Goodluck Jonathan in their first meeting with Nigeria's leader 100 days after the shocking attack.</p>2014-07-23T03:02:00+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17576'Stop fighting and start talking' UN chief tells Israel and Palestinians<p>United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon demanded that Israel and Hamas halt the spiralling violence in Gaza as he pushed diplomatic efforts to end bloodshed that has killed 620 Palestinians.</p>2014-07-23T02:43:00+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17577Fritzl's victim daughter finds love after being freed from house of horrorsThe woman who was kept prisoner in a secret dungeon for 24 years and forced to bear seven of her father&rsquo;s children is still haunted by the trauma despite finding love since her release.2014-07-23T02:21:00+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16Zuuid:e7820110-49d5-4787-9533-db332575214b;id=17578Queensland police smash child porn ring leading authorities to alleged pedophiles worldwideA New Mexico man faces up to 20 years in a US prison after Queensland police made a child pornography arrest in Brisbane.2014-07-23T00:59:14+10:002014-07-22T19:34:16ZAAP
Search the site
Search