December 2006

'Tis the Season - For Holiday Party Etiquette

Author: Julie Miller

Another summer has come and gone. Warm sunny days give way to a chill in the air that hastens our thoughts to the coming holiday season. Yes, holiday parties are just around the corner! This is a time to let loose with your coworkers for a well-deserved party after another long, hard year…..right? Wrong! Remember, no matter how festive the occasion appears, this is still business. Don’t fall off the ladder of success or risk damaging your reputation in one night of irreversible blunders. Here are few tips to ensure a smooth enjoyable evening, while being able to make eye contact at the water cooler on Monday morning.

This is not a question! Always! Always! Responde se vous plai! This detail is imperative to throwing a successful party. There is no better way to insult the party planner or host (many times it’s your boss) than to show up after failing to RSVP. Accurate guest counts affect all details of a party from food preparation to the venue set up. On the flip side, if you can not make it to the affair, always send your regrets. The host or hostess is not a mind reader. It is common courtesy to take a RSVP seriously. Make your Momma proud and send it back.

Who’s invited and who’s not?
Sure, li’l’ Johnny, li’l’ Suzy and Aunt Martha are a lot of fun, but remember to check before loading the family station wagon to make sure the invitation has been extended to spouses, significant others, family members and/or children. It may be best to leave Aunt Martha at home to watch li’l’ Johnny and li’l’ Suzy, so you and hubby can have some fun.

Do fishnets and sequins really go with a Santa hat?
First of all, no, and second of all, dress smart for the occasion. This rule especially applies to women who use company parties to strut their stuff. Leave anything short, tight or revealing in your closet. You’ve worked hard to create a professional image, ladies, and revealing clothes can alter your coworkers’ and managers’ perception of you. (This applies to gentleman as well! Especially those with a chest rug and gold chains…no offense, but please button up!).

Eat, drink (?) and be merry…
Yes, but in moderation. Where else can you find the owner of your company and the mailroom clerk bellied up to the bar together? Alcohol plus you and your boss can equal a Monday morning of, “I can’t believe I said that”! If you choose to drink, do so minimally.

Wallflower or Social Butterfly?
Get in the holiday spirit and mingle with people from different departments. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to mingle with the Big Wigs. At the very least, don’t spend all night with your office buddies.

Do I really need to call a cab?
Seriously, if you find this thought running through your head, you should not get behind the wheel! Remember, drinking and driving is NEVER appropriate. If your company has not provided transportation for you, make sure that you have a SOBER designated driver or taxi to pick you up from the event.

All in all, get ready to put the Company Party on your calendar, but remember it’s not just Santa who’ll remember if you are naughty or nice!

These Career Saving Tips are brought to you by Julie Miller, Alison Manwell and Molly Kennedy of Celebration Events Catering.

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