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Professionalism Still Paramount! Office Party Etiquette

Categories: Workplace Etiquette

Ho Ho Ho! ‘Tis the season to be jolly ….

But when do you need to say, “No, No, No,” in order to avoid dangerous folly?

The holiday season is a time for parties and celebrations at home and work.

Although many companies have scaled down due to the economy, there still are office parties big and small happening this month.

What are some of the party pitfalls to avoid, and when do you want to say, “No”? Here are my top five mistakes:

  1. Drinking too much alcohol. It’s always a mistake. Avoid it at all costs – even if there is an open bar! Know your limit and then cut back from there.
  2. Making party time a place to flirt. Not OK. You have to see these people the next day, and believe me, they talk!
  3. Wearing provocative or otherwise inappropriate clothing. This may work for Snooki and her “Jersey Shore” cast mates, but if your office is corporate, tone it down for the party, please. No one needs to see your new belly ring, wild tattoo or chest hair.
  4. Giving expensive or inappropriate gifts. This can put people on the spot, and be awkward. Again, be conservative when choosing your gift, and be aware of when, where and who you give gifts to. The party is not necessarily the best place to single out one or two gift recipients.
  5. Forgetting your party manners. There are five aspects of party protocol to remember:
    • If you RSVP “yes” to a party, show up and be on time. If you RSVP “no,” don’t come. But, most importantly, RSVP!
    • Don’t overstay your welcome
    • Mix with everyone
    • Avoid talking about business
    • After the party, write a thank-you note within a few days to the host or hostess

The goal at office parties is to have fun, and know how and when to say, “No.” So, you can look back at the event in January, and still be able to Ho, Ho, Ho about it, instead of searching for a new job.

Happy holidays!

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