Excited for your holiday office party?

After 20 years in management, I have had my fair share of mistakes and witnessed many more when it comes to Holiday parties. There have been terminations, arrests, and infidelities at company holiday parties. Here are the cliff notes to make sure YOU escape the party unscathed – and stay on your boss’ good side in 2017.

Holiday Office Party Hacks To Propel Your Career, NOT Pulverize It

1) Do Attend
It is extremely important to attend your holiday office party. This is NOT optional. Even if you can only make it for an hour, it will send the wrong message if you don’t show up to support your company trying to support you.

2) Do Dress for the Occasion
This means dress for a work party, which is a far cry from dressing to go out with your friends. You need to be much more professional and conservative than you would be on your own time and dime. You are creating a brand at work and you need to represent that brand while you are at the party. Dress to the level of the position you want, not just the one you have.

3) Do Arrange for Transportation
In a world where a ride to and from anything is as far as your Uber app, it makes no sense to drive when attending a work event – unless your employer is providing the transportation for you. This shows that you are responsible; and employers love employees that protect themselves and the company.

4) Do Be In Control of Your Consumption
Just because it is open bar and you see other employees drinking a lot does NOT mean you need to go down that rabbit hole. Nothing bad will happen if you don’t drink too much. But if you do drink too much and lose control, you may risk losing the respect of your superiors – or worse.

5) Don’t Be a Cling On
Be mindful of how long you are speaking with any given person. Even though it might seem comfortable speaking to someone for a long time, it is your objective to speak with someone for a limited window of time and then politely excuse yourself to continue networking. Always leave people wanting more of you, NOT putting them in a position to escape you.

6) Don’t Use This as a Time for Selfies, Social Posts, or Photo Memories
Some people will drink too much, talk to members of the opposite sex, or act inappropriately. But they will not want this documented the next day, even if they act like it is funny in the moment. Save your exploits and photo ops for your friends.

7) Don’t Stick Your Head Into Your Phone
You go to a holiday office party to socialize and expand your network. Keep your head up and a smile on. Get ready to move and introduce yourself to others. Prepare ahead of time so you have some good questions ready. Remember, people love to talk about themselves. So ask others questions about them and they will love you!

8) Don’t Ignore Spouses
The opportunity to say hello and introduce yourself to someone’s spouse can go a long way in getting to know the person you work with. Don’t pass by spouses and ignore them. Make an effort to make them feel included, too.

9) Don’t Forget To Check Your Teeth
Make sure you have a napkin under your drink and that you stop in the bathroom to check your teeth after eating something. When you are in close proximity with others, you need to keep your smile big and clean.

10) Don’t Ask For A Raise
The holiday office party is the place for light and positive conversation. Do NOT use this opportunity as one to complain about work or to pitch yourself for advancement. This is neither the time nor place.

11) Don’t Be The Last Man Standing
It’s great that you attended the party and networked and made a solid impression. Now get the hell out of there! Once you have seen a few people leave, it is time for you to make your excuse known and get out. Nothing good happens at the end of the night.

Are YOU ready for your holiday office party?
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to survive your company party with flying colors. Just in time to usher in the New Year, too.