Holiday Office Party Do's and Don'ts

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The office Holiday Party looms just a week or two away. So tell me Girlbosses, are you sort of excited, but mostly dreading it because you don’t know how to act in that setting?  It’s weird to go from being so professional to trying to “party” or “hang out” with these same people. Right? So first of all, know that you are not alone in being a bit fearful of the office holiday party.
 
The intent of the gathering is to interact with co-workers and bosses in a less formal way, make a personal connection with your peers, and to enjoy the holiday. But, you need to play your cards right. You need to enjoy, but — be on your very best office party behavior. Even though it is a festive event, your behavior will undoubtedly be scrutinized and remembered by others. And this can get a bit tricky, because there is typically alcohol involved, and that is where some employees get themselves into trouble.
 
So let’s break it down…
Here are my very best tips for smooth sailing through your holiday office party.
 
Tip #1: 
Unless you are in dire straits or down with the worst flu of your life,  make sure you attend! It will be seen as rude if you do not attend the party. Your boss or supervisor is putting on the event to promote camaraderie, and by not joining in the fun, it will appear that you are not a team player, or that you just don’t care much about your job or your co-workers. So make it a priority to put the event in your calendar as soon as you know the date. And, if an RSVP is requested, make sure to follow through with that.
 
Tip #2: 
Oh no!What do you wear? I suggest first talking it over with your co-workers to know what kind of dress code is expected. It may be cocktail attire where party dresses are appropriate. Or, it could be a casual ugly sweater theme. Make sure to get some insight on that. You may even want to look up some photos of last year’s event to see what others wore to the party. Whatever the dress code is, make sure to follow it. If you are supposed to dress up in a theme (ie,. Ugly sweater or Santa etc.) —do it! I know you are probably cringing and thinking, “Do I really have to?” YES…and here is why. If you ignore the theme, you will be sending the message that you are too cool for that, or you just aren’t a true team player. Remember that playing by the rules is best in this setting.
 
If it is cocktail attire, be sure to keep it somewhat PG rated. No excessive cleavage ladies. No skin tight revealing dress that shows more skin than fabric. Yes, you can be sexy and chic, but always make sure it is CLASSY. If you are not certain, it is better to err on the side of modesty.
 
Tip #3:
The alcohol dilemma. Most of these holiday parties will serve some festive cheer. And it is perfectly ok to partake. BUT be careful. You DO NOT want to indulge too heavily. Keep it in check—the key my girlbosses is moderation. Here’s what I recommend. Stay away from the hard stuff. The hard alcohol such as vodka, tequila, and whiskey can be too risky. I suggest going with wine or beer. I like to go with a white wine spritzer which is really white wine with some club soda and ice. You can pick whichever wine you like, ie. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio. By making it a spritzer you are definitely lowering your alcohol consumption, but still feeling festive. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, then I suggest go with the glass of wine and then after each glass, alternate with a club soda and lime. Also a good rule of thumb is to not drink more than one glass per hour. I know it can be tough to be so regimented, but you certainly don’t want to be slurring your words to your supervisor, or acting ridiculous, or doing something embarrassing in front of your co-workers, right?
 
Tip #4
Make sure to thank your bosses, supervisors, etc. for hosting the event. Being appreciative goes a long way! Employers want their staff to acknowledge that they have gone out of their way to create the celebration. So, let them know!
 
Tip #5:
Party with Poise. You definitely want to enjoy yourself, have fun, and bond with your co-workers and bosses. It is a festive time of year—But ladies, the key is to stay poised and polished. You don’t want to be out of control, incoherent, sloppy, or disheveled. People remember if you act like a hot mess! And that can be hard to live down.
 
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts, you are fully equipped to crush it at your office celebration! But the question that remains is…what will you wear?  So let’s focus on some stylish outfits to have you looking fab!

If it is a casual event, you might want to try a beautiful top paired with some black dress pants. If it is on the fancier, dressier side I love either a dress or a fun jumpsuit. With the dress, be careful about the hemline. You want it to be flattering, but keep it classy. What is nice about a jumpsuit is that you don’t have the hemline concern at all!
 
I’ve picked some of my faves below, and you can link directly to them. Enjoy browsing!


 

xo,

Karen Otis

 

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