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Surviving the Company Christmas Party

It happens every year. The company Christmas party. It should be a fun time, but can become career suicide if you don’t behave yourself.There are some things to remember to prevent your merry-making from turning into your worst nightmare.

Townsquare Media’s party is tonight, but I’m lucky. I work with some great people who are always fun to hang out with at the party, and are never inappropriate. But I remember a party, many years ago, with a company I used to work for. Lots of drunkenness, and a table of eight under-age coworkers who tried to convince me to buy them drinks.

There’s always alcohol at these things. Do have a drink, if you’re so inclined. Don’t over indulge. And don’t say “I didn’t realize how much I was drinking.” If you’re not sure…you’ve had too much! Have a drink at the beginning of the evening that you can nurse for a while…and then switch to coffee or soda.

That cute boy/girl that you’ve been admiring will probably be there. Do wish them a Merry Christmas and make small talk. Don’t flirt. This is not the place for it. And you’re going to be humiliated in front of your coworkers when they shut you down. By the same token, do make small talk with your boss. Ask about their holiday plans. Don’t complain, whine, or tell inappropriate jokes. It’s still your boss, after all!

What to wear to a holiday party is always stressful. Do you dress up? Do you dress down? Don’t be afraid to ask around and find out what’s expected. When in doubt, do wear something comfortable but still appropriate. Think “business casual.” Do wear a nice pair of jeans or casual pants and a sweater. Don’t wear ripped jeans and a t-shirt that says “All I want for Christmas is a Ho Ho Ho!”

The best rule of thumb when attending a holiday party is that these are people you work with. You’re going to have to face them tomorrow. So relax, have some fun, but keep it responsible and respectful. And one final tip? Mistletoe….NEVER a good idea at a company party!

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