How to survive the office Christmas party with your credibility intact


Nov 17, 2014 by Smart Blog

Whether you enjoy the office Christmas party or not depends on many factors. These include the food, the drink, the venue, the music and how likeable your colleagues are, among others. Let's face it, for many people the office Christmas party is a trial that must be endured, while some look forward to it for most of the year and spend weeks planning their outfit.

Either way, the office party can make or break your professional reputation just as an interview or pitch for business can, so it's not an event that you should attend unprepared. Here are some tips that might be helpful.


Don't get drunk

Seriously, just don't. Even though this is the UK and drinking seems to be a national sport, remember that this is a work event and not a night out with your friends. Your boss cannot discipline you if you fall down a manhole in the middle of town at five in the morning on a Saturday: if you fall down drunk at the work’s party, you might be.

So, consider, which is worse, losing your job because you got so drunk that you told your manager exactly what you think of her, or Dave from accounts thinking you're a lightweight? You choose.


Make sure you can get home safely 

For example, pre-book a taxi. Do not, whatever you do, spend your taxi fare on beer or jagerbombs! For all the reasons given above!


Dress appropriately

As we have seen, the office Christmas party is a work event, and therefore you must retain your work persona. If you simply must express your inner Katie Price, you need to do that somewhere else at another time.


Consider whether you have to go

For many introverts, office parties can be sheer trials of endurance. If you are shy, and really don't want to go, ask yourself honestly whether skipping the event will affect your career. In some sectors, particularly very sociable ones like PR and fashion, it might do, but in many cases you can skip the works party and nobody will mind at all.


Don't post to social media

Taking photos at the office party and posting them to social media, or commenting on the event online before, after or during, are massive no-nos. You may be surprised at how many of your colleagues will see this as a massive invasion of their privacy. This is a work event, remember, so don't let your love of social media lead to a formal complaint against you.


Chat with everybody

In particular, chat with colleagues' spouses and partners about things unrelated to work. They will love you for it, and you get to chat about something much more interesting than budget allocations or the latest developments in sprocket manufacture.


Turn up the next day

Don't call in sick to work the next day unless you are genuinely ill. If there is a suspicion that you're off because you failed to pace yourself at the office party, you risk looking irresponsible, and that is a seriously bad career move.