Career and Business

Your Office Holiday Party Survival Guide

Don’t make these mistakes at the office Holiday Party this year

Aw yes, its the time of year where we are preparing for the holiday party. I love a good party so I am typically excited to get dressed up and go however parties with work folks are tricky waters to navigate. You are there to have a good time on the company dime but you don’t want to have “too good of a time” and lose your job in the turn-up. Let’s run down the list of possible errors.

Leave the fashion nova dress at home. An office party is still work and you want to dress appropriately. This was an error I made once *hides face*… it was not that bad but it inspired this lesson learned. I went to an office party in lil strapless number that was not staying in place. I thought I was cute but after the drinks got flowing it was looking more like a freak’em dress. Be careful, Y’all. Every office is different. In some environments, my dress would have been ok but this time it wasn’t. If you are planning to step outside the box just run the dress by somebody else that has been to the party before. You don’t want to be “pulled aside” by your work bestie like I was.

Don’t bring extra folks. When the invite says plus 1, leave it at plus 1. Don’t bring extra people. People will notice and it looks bad. Company budgets for things like parties are not limitless so don’t be the person who adds to the headcount with uninvited guests.

Keep the drinks to a minimum. I have seen this mistake happen on more than one occasion. Just because its open bar does not mean you need to shut it down. At a company I once worked for, a guy who happened to be sitting next to the CEO was drinking too much and then trashing the company, he was laid off a week later. At another company, a girl got so drunk she was throwing up outside, she never lived it down. The same advice goes for your plus 1. The office party is not the place you want to be seen trashed. You don’t want to say or do anything in drunkenness that will have in the HR office on Monday morning.

It’s the one place to NOT do it for the “99 and the 2000”. I know its hard to resist backing that ass up when the cash money beat drops – DON’T DO IT. We, the other black girls, know you’re just having a good time but I don’t know about the other folks. I have a friend who almost didn’t get a promotion because she wore a pink tutu-like dress to the office party – the feedback was “she was immature”. Now, what would have been the story if she twerked in the tutu? People are petty, small and the competition can be fierce. Keep it classy and maybe hit up an after party spot if you want “get loose”.

Don’t have any sexual contact with your coworkers. At my first company out of college, I was on a team of other 20 somethings and this was a big issue. Don’t do it. It will never be the secret you think it is… bosses and other leaders get in on the gossip too. It looks bad … the worst. The fallouts are messy afterward and we are all talking about you because who will pass up this level of tea. When I get together with old co-workers today we still talk about “the girls that all slept with Todd (fake name but you get my point).

Holiday parties are a great way to “really” get to know co-workers and vice versa but you have to draw lines out of respect for yourself.

I want to hear about it in the comments. What are your holiday party horror stories?

2 comments

    1. That’s a smart strategy. I love to go because I love a good dress but I am clear that just cause it’s called a party doesn’t mean it’s a party. It’s all still work. People are sizing you up the entire time.

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