Your behavior at the next holiday party can follow you into your next job, and the next one after that. Behave! Before you sidle up to the eggnog, here are some tips for making the most of your office celebration:
Attend. Do accept your company’s invitation and enjoy the celebration they are throwing. Go and stay for at least an hour—making a brief, perfunctory appearance can be worse than not going at all.
Dress appropriately. This is a party, but it’s a work party. Your outfit shouldn’t look like just another workday, nor should it look like a night at the club. Dress in conservative but festive attire.
Have fun! Don’t just talk shop all night. Remember that it is a holiday celebration and enjoy yourself. Make use of the chance to get to know your coworkers and their interests better.
Say anything you’ll regret. Loose lips sink ships. Don’t vent about office politics or gossip. Avoid off-color humor. It can be easy to let your guard down, but don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your boss (and the rest of the office) to hear.
Ever forget that smart phones are all too often the main entertainment - don’t be the co-worker gone-viral for outrageous behavior.
Drink too much. An open bar and the awkwardness of socializing with coworkers can be a bad combination, but don’t be tempted to overdo it on alcohol. Keep it to one or two drinks max. Make a plan beforehand of how much you’ll drink and stick to it.
Overstay your welcome. While you want to enjoy the party, you don’t want to shut it down. Stay for a reasonable amount of time and then head home.