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'Tis the season for holiday office and company parties. The holiday office party gives you time to rub elbows with senior executives and other company employees you may not typically interact with during regular business hours. The holiday party is a great time for you to enhance your image as an employee and possibly advance your career.
However, if you are not careful, your personal value at the company could decline if you are not party savvy. To help maintain a professional image, here are top ten tips from experts to surviving the office holiday party. Applying these tips during the office party season will help you enjoy the time out of the office that you spend with your coworkers.
1. Read The Invitation. Etiquette specialist Julie Blais Comeau says it's important to read the invitation and not doing so could be embarrassing, stressful, downright rude and an unexpected expense for your host. In regards to bringing a guest(s), double check with the party coordinator.
2. Get a sense of formality beforehand and dress appropriately. Find out the appropriate attire for event. Leave the night club clothes at home. Don’t show too much skin or wear revealing clothes. Inappropriate attire can alter your coworkers' and boss' perception of you as a competent professional. You don't want to be wearing an elf sweater and earrings blinking like Rudolph nose when everyone else is in suits, advises Ms. Conduct, Robin Abrahams.
3. Arrive Early or On Time. Arriving early gives you the opportunity to talk with senior executives while the party is relatively quiet.
4. Act Appropriately. First, put the BlackBerry away. Some may find it rude if you are texting or Tweeting during the office party. Also, no swearing, no dirty jokes, no belching contests and no sophomoric behavior. Avoid controversial topics like religion, abortion and politics.
5. Mingle. Use the company event as an opportunity to introduce yourself to others outside your department. Be prepared for small talk. Peter Post, of Boston.com, advises that you have several topics, questions or comments in mind when you arrive at the party.