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Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow


Holiday Office parties can be pleasant and even fun, or they can derail even the speediest fast tracker.  Watch the “party politics” this season and remember that you’ll be working with these same people the next day. Acting out and making too merry might make the difference between a boost up the corporate chimney or finding coal in your cubicle.

Corporate newbies attending their first holiday office party (pay attention recent grads), must remember it’s not the same thing as a wild and wacky college gig. Seasoned attenders need to also remind themselves to pace their drinking and not to stand too long under the mistletoe.  You can still have fun without becoming the next day’s buzz at the coffee station, or worse, the star of a video gone viral.



  • Spend the event reading and texting on your cell phone – minimally participating in conversation.
  • Forget the dress code. Wear inappropriate, overly sexy attire.
  • Drink to excess…it’s on the company.
  • Bad mouth the firm, your coworkers and your boss.
  • Stand under the mistletoe, flirt excessively or snuggle in a dark corner.
  • Complain about the place, food, your employer, and/or having to be there.
  • Spike the punch or ask the bartender to keep topping off another’s guest’s drink.
  • Bring a crazy date or someone whose social interaction skills have others questioning your judgment.



  • Hold your drink in your left hand; keep right hand dry and available to shake hands.
  • Avoid messy foods so that you don’t look sloppy or prone to spills.
  • Make the effort to turn off your mobile technology for the evening; silence your device.
  • Work the room.  Don’t spend excessive time with one person or group. Share management’s time with others.
  • Only bring one guest if allowed, or go solo. Don’t ask about extra invitations.
  • Eat and drink in moderation.
  • Leave gifts at home even if you typically exchange them with coworkers. Save the present swapping for a more quiet time at the office.
  • Do some internal networking; smile and talk with people who aren’t part of your daily work routine.
  • Thank management for the event and any internal party planners. Send an email the next day to also show your appreciation.

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