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Invited to the Company Holiday Party? What You Need to Know Before You Go

If your company is hosting a holiday party this year, most likely they will be spending more on the event. So says Challenger, Gray and Christmas which recently surveyed HR managers about this. The economy is doing well and companies have extra cash on hand. With it, they plan to show appreciation for their employees’ dedication and hard work by splurging on the holiday party.

holiday party etiquette

Whether you’ve been to your share of company parties in your career or you’re a new hire and it’s your first time, it’s helpful to review some quick tips for celebrating with your work colleagues and manager.

First, you know the etiquette. But don’t forget that actions can have consequences, especially at a holiday party. What can happen? Let’s revisit a few scenarios--all of which are true:

  • A colleague brings his sister to the holiday party. She drinks too much and--ends up sick in the bathroom Happens, right? This time, however, the boss’s wife was the one who took care of her. Lesson: Don’t drink too much and consider a two drink minimum to play it safe.
  • A company decided to hold two holiday parties, for two different groups of employees. One was formal; the other had a Western theme. How could anything go wrong? One employee invited to the formal party got his signals crossed and showed up at the soiree in Western gear. Lesson: Pay close attention to the invite.
  • Comfortable with her social circle in the office, one employee huddled with co-workers and began her usual complaints about the boss. Unbeknownst to her, one of the boss’s colleagues was standing nearby, listening to the conversation. Lesson: Stick to neutral topics and mingle.

We don’t want to be preachy--or a wet blanket. We want you to accept your company’s invitation to the holiday party and have fun. Being present and engaging may help you further your career. In the spirit of holiday giving, we leave you with a few words of advice on how to get the most out of the company party this year:

  • Respond to the invitation promptly.
  • Show up if you indicated that you will be attending—it’s polite.
  • Introduce yourself to colleagues in other departments and company leaders.
  • Talk to people!
  • Don't overshare on social media.
  • Thank the organizers for putting together the party.

Happy Holidays!

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