It’s that time of year again when eating drinking and acting merry is the norm. The holiday season is filled with endless celebrations both at home and in the office. What one does in their own home is their business but the office is a public venue and can make or break one’s career.
Having worked in the corporate world as a marketing professional for some time, I can tell you that I’ve seen my share of careers gone bad because of inappropriate behavior at the annual holiday office party. It’s OK to have fun and enjoy your accomplishments at year end but why risk your reputation and potentially your job by showing poor judgment in one night.
Here’s my take on 8 career limiting mistakes that happen at the holiday office party and I can say that I have witnessed many of these.
1. Don’t do club wear – plunging necklines (yes this is for both men & women) short mini’s, excessive make up, funky footwear, overpowering perfume and cologne can be left for weekends not the office party.
2. Don’t do shades indoors – not sure how this “trend” started but I assume some celebrity thought it was hip or cool to wear sunglasses indoors so the rest of society considered this to be acceptable. Unless a person has entered into thewitness protection plan and doesn’t want to risk being recognized, please don’t wear sunglasses indoors. It looks ridiculous and communicates “I have something to hide” or “I’m too cool to look you in the eye when speaking to you.”
4. Don’t over indulge in alcohol or food – while this might seem obvious to many, for some reason, employees still do it. If you get drunk, you will be the person everyone talks about for year’s to come. And while the food buffet or passed hors de vours are yours for the taking, it’s not necessary to eat as if it’s your last meal. Ample portions are good, super size portions not good. One could be perceived as ill mannered or selfish by over indulging.
5. Don’t be an ingrate – companies don’t have to provide a holiday party but they do it to thank the employees for their hard work throughout the year so don’t complain about the venue, food, or the fact they didn’t have “premium” alcohol.
6. Don’t be inappropriate – while the event is festive in nature, it doesn’t mean you should discount the do’s and don’ts of appropriate office behavior. This means no ogling at co-workers and no overly outward displays of affection.
7. Don’t be ill mannered – thank the hosts for their generosity in throwing the event, don’t ignore the staff who are serving you instead thank them, introduce yourself to a colleague if you don’t know him or her and be sure to look as if you are enjoying yourself and not as if you want to make a clean get away when no one is watching.
8. Don’t not attend – we all have hectic schedules, particularly around this time of year but it’s considered disrespectful to not show up for your company party. Of course if you are out of town that’s an appropriate excuse but if you just don’t want to make the effort, that’s showing a lack of team spirit or lack of leadership.
Eat, drink and yes be merry but do it appropriately and in moderation!