It’s the time of year where we mix business with pleasure; the works Christmas Party. But this doesn’t mean letting your hair down completely, sadly. This is where knowing your limit is most important. What you do, how you behave, at this one party is extremely important because it’ll be noticed by those who have deciding factors on your career progression.

Here’s our top tips to help you get through the party and have fun along the way:

Attendance is mandatory

Parties are to celebrate you and the work you put in for the year. They’ll notice if you don’t attend. If you’re not too comfortable, confide in trusted colleagues for advice on the previous parties, check the invitation to see if guests are welcome (it’s not always the case)- double check if you’re not sure and when it comes to leaving, unless in an emergency, it’s not acceptable to leave during a meal but excusing yourself shortly after (for example, they’re moving on for drinks only- if there is planned entertainment, it might not be as appropriate) should be fine.

Be sure to thank your hosts!

Dress is key

The parties location will indicate the dress code for you. If you’ve not been there before, do a little research. Check out TripAdvisor, ask friends, look at the website and photos. The key is to dress conservatively not provocatively. You can dress up your outfit with accessories for splashes of colour and personality.

Eat something

If it’s drinks only, make sure you eat before you go. Lining your stomach is important. The last thing you want is an embarrassing story of you throwing up all over your bosses shoes to circulate.

Everything in moderation

Drinking and dancing especially. Anything you want to do in excess should be done behind closed doors- including any office romances. If you usually drink to excess, order a drink you’re not too keen on as a means to control how much you’re drinking.

Be respectful of your colleagues

Check they’re happy for pictures to be taken and before uploading them consider whether you’d be happy for a photo like that of you to be put up. Don’t gossip with colleagues at Christmas party, keep dialogues open and inclusive.

Step out of your comfort zone

It’s a great time to make connections. Move away from the groups you usually mingle with and get to know some of the other colleagues in the company. You never know where it’ll lead.

Determine a way home in advance

Discuss with your bosses and colleagues whether cars/taxi’s will be organised by the company or determine if you’re expected to make your own way home. If you’re to organise your own transport determine if there are any designated drivers or club in and share taxi’s.

Bring a gift

If the party is taking place at your bosses or coworkers house, it’s polite to take a host/hostess gift.

Light conversation

You’re all there to have a good time and let off a little steam, talk about holiday plans, movies and family. Avoid political, money and controversial topics. Also don’t spend the night talking about your achievements and your self-worth. This is also a great opportunity to thank those that have helped you on projects throughout the year.

Don’t overstay your welcome

Make sure you’re not the last to leave, when things start to quiet down, it’s your time to say your goodbyes and thank yous.

If it’s work the next day

Be at your desk on time, looking as fresh as possible and don’t let your work suffer.

It seems like a lot to remember but essentially, ensure you have a good time (and appear to be having a good time) without going overboard. Have you experienced first hand any embarrassing moments at a work’s Christmas party? Or has a colleague let the side down and you had to witness?

More etiquette tips and ideas to get through the holidays below!

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