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There are many different types of office holiday celebrations from fancy dinners to casual gatherings. The one factor that you, the attendee, can control is, well, you. Your demeanor as this type of event can affect your career. A good rule of thumb is everything in moderation.

Here are some tips to avoid some possible career damaging labels. Don’t be intimated by all the do’s and don’t’s. It is important that you attend your office holiday celebration to share in some fun and spirit with your coworkers and supervisors.

  1. Your Attire

Remember, above all, this is a holiday party with your boss and coworkers. Don’t forget to ask what the attire for the event is. However, don’t make the mistake of dressing for causal in an outfit too revealing or too flashy. Studies have shown that “if you wear blue, you appear to be calm, wise, and stable. Wearing orange or yellow makes you look positive and upbeat. And red denotes passion, attention, and sexiness.”[1] Keep your office personality in mind as you select your outfit.

  1. Your Conversation

While the holiday office party can be a great opportunity to casually bend your boss’s ear about a promotion or raise,[2] you shouldn’t spend all evening discussing business. Also, don’t take over the conversation. Remember to listen to the person you are conversing with; don’t just plan your response. Keep the conversion light and happy.

  1. Your Body Language

Be aware of your presence in the room. You want to be comfortable and approachable. Don’t close yourself off to conversation by crossing your arms.[3] Make sure your handshake isn’t cold and wet from your drink; hold your drink in your left hand and off center of your person.

  1. Your Alcohol Consumption

Keep your alcohol consumption moderate. Drinking can loosen your inhibitions, and you may end up embarrassing yourself. Also, if you do plan to drink, don’t drive. Make sure you have a way to get home sober. Have a plan before you start drinking for the night.

  1. Your Arrival/Your Exit

Don’t arrive too early or stay too late.[4] Be punctual. Be sure to greet the host upon your arrival and thank the host upon your departure. If gifts are given, be sure to write a thank you note.[5]

These are just a few tips to keep in mind as you head to your holiday celebrations. At these kinds of functions, it is easy to forget yourself in a more relaxed atmosphere. It is important for you to remember you are still being observed (and perhaps evaluated) by your supervisor or your manager. Whether intentional or not, the impressions you make during the holiday celebration will stick with you for a long time.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2016/11/28/balancing-fun-and-professionalism-at-the-holiday-office-party/#69b78d8d5568

[2] http://nypost.com/2016/12/04/how-to-use-your-office-holiday-party-to-land-a-promotion/

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2016/11/28/balancing-fun-and-professionalism-at-the-holiday-office-party/#69b78d8d5568

[4] http://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/profiles-strategies/2016/12/good-grief-etiquette-blunders-to-avoid-at-holiday.html?page=all

[5] https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/office-gifts-dos-donts

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