Wage slaves, rejoice! It’s time once again to power down your computers, deck the office cubicles, and don your finest Santa hats. Tis the season for the annual holiday party, which, if you’re careful, is the most fun a person can expect to have in an office — sort of like a longer, more festive version of the cupcake break you get when someone has a birthday.
If you’re not careful, on the other hand, you can wind up with more than just a hangover and a terrible secret Santa present. Make one of these five mistakes, and your career won’t survive into the new year.
1. Drinking Too Much
This is always the first thing mentioned on these lists, and for good reason. Being the drunkest person at the party is guaranteed to make you an office legend, but not in the way you would prefer. Do yourself and your career a favor. Put down the eggnog before your holiday cheer turns to holiday tears — yours or the human resource department’s.
2. Saying Inappropriate Things
It’s easier to abide by this rule if you abide by the first rule, but even if you don’t over-imbibe, you can still run your mouth off and wreck your career. Don’t let the party atmosphere make you forget that you could be talking to someone important. CEOs don’t always enjoy being called “bro.”
3. Not Knowing to Whom You’re Speaking
And speaking of the CEO, it’s a good idea to know who he or she is. We’ve had multiple friends make the mistake of not identifying the important people at the party before they attended. Some of them are even still employed.
4. Dressing Inappropriately
“Work party” is something of an oxymoron. You’re either at work or you’re at a party — never at both at the same time. Your office holiday party is definitely work. Leave the club gear and party dresses at home, and make sure all your goods and services are fully covered.
5. Staying Too Long
If your work party is after hours and outside of your office building, it’s harder than ever to remember that it’s a work function. Plan to leave at a reasonable hour and you’ll minimize the temptation to become the life of the party … and the death of your career.