Working The Office Christmas Party

It's your workplace Christmas party! After a long, hard year you're ready to kick up your heels and celebrate the start of the silly season -- but it's vital that you dress, speak and act appropriately at your festive do, or you risk an embarrassing return to work in January. Here are some do's and don't for your office Christmas party.

Office party

DO:

Go slow:

One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a Christmas party is to hit the bar too hard, as it lowers your inhibitions and may cause you to behave less professionally. Jayne Hriber recalls walking in on the ultimate clichéd Christmas party "no-no" a couple of years ago: in an effort to skip the toilet queue, she took the stairs down to her office's lower floor to use the second bathroom, and she stumbled across two colleagues getting down and dirty in the stairwell.

"They were so drunk they didn't notice me, but I was horrified -- he was my 50-year-old boss, and she was barely out of her teens!"" Jane says. Needless to say, it didn't take long for news of the stairwell tryst to make its way around the office… and it wasn't the boss that ended up finding a new job.

Dress Appropriately

You shouldn't wear anything too sexy or revealing to your workplace Christmas party, or you risk giving your boss and co-workers the wrong impression. The golden rule? If in doubt, leave it out: how you choose to dress reflects your personality, this is not the ideal time to release your inner vixen or goth. Modesty is the key, so ditch mini-skirts, midriff tops and excessive cleavage in favour of the type of smart-casual outfits you'd wear to a wedding.

Leave your work problems at work

This is not the ideal setting to drill your boss about your desire for a payrise, or to whinge about your issues with Bill in accounting. You need to leave your work problems at the office so you can be relaxed and enjoy the event, regardless of what's going on during 9-5.

Shmooze

Rather than hanging out with your closest work pals, take the time to network and mingle with different people. There will be people at the party who can influence your career who you may not regularly have access to, such as top management and people from other departments, and the Christmas party offers a great opportunity to build professional relationships in a social setting.

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