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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ho ho ho... did you hear about what happened at the Christmas Party?!

This one is for you all – tis the season to be jolly. With your friends. With your family. With your colleagues – to a lesser extent.

The Christmas Party can be a cracking day/night out – but don’t enjoy it so much that the joke afterwards, is on you!

Equally – do go and enjoy it!

The crimbo do is supposed to be the ‘highlight of the year’, ‘a way of saying thanks to the staff’, an opportunity to ‘get to know your colleagues in a more informal environment’... according to the top dogs (no top dog in particular). I think it is a great opportunity to show you are human by having a few free drinks, a boogy with the boss and leave with your dignity still intact!

There are so many horror stories about how so-and-so did such-and-such last year and got sacked/never came back/etc that for those of you new to a company or indeed the industry may even question if you should risk going to the party. You must. Equally, there will be some who do not like their colleagues as anything other than that – a colleague, and prefer not to mix business with pleasure. You must go too. Even if just for a fleeting visit. A no show at all will always be noticed no matter how new/shy/old/young/boring you (think you) are.

Why is it so important you ask? Managers are always looking for team players – and the Christmas party is a great way to get your face known around the company (make sure it is just your face though...) and besides when else can you talk freely with the Head of HR/MD/post boy... by its very nature the Christmas Party (at the early stages) is a melting pot where all barriers come down and you get to relax. This really is to your advantage (well, at the very least not detrimental to you) as long as you observe some simple boundaries...

The Do’s!
  • Go! Have fun. Talk to people, smile and laugh. It IS the season to be merry!
  • Listen to people when they talk to you – don’t do that awful media fake ‘mmm that sounds great’ [so awkward when someone just told you they are going through a divorce/their dog just died]
  • Make thoughtful introductions – they will go a long way to some. Do not use this as an opportunity to dump the office dud but actually consider who so and so may like to meet/hasn’t met yet
  • Make a positive impact – make people smile and laugh. You want to leave this party having made a positive impact – you can absolutely be the one who suggests a great ice breaker or the first round of tequilas; do not be the booze hound in the gutter waving your empty shot glass at the MD in his/her departing car
  • Talk about things which are upbeat and interesting as opposed to the usual work dry chat or moans about the crap quality of the stationary (etc)
  • Dance/sing karaoke/join in on the action – to show willing. Don’t hog the mic all night... especially if you sound like dog sh*t!

The Don’ts (in my opinion)
  • Talk incessantly about work – this is a social occasion and nobody wants to hear your strategy ideas over wine!
  • Boast about your new promotion/salary increase
  • Ask for a promotion/salary increase – just because the boss has had a few sherries...
  • Take a souvenir from the venue ( or if you must, do not get caught)
  • At no time is it ever cool to show off your exotic/erotic dance moves... keep them in the bedroom (if at all!)
  • Reciprocate advances from married colleagues. It will end badly. Cheating is not cool and i think both parties are very naughty
  • Forget to check that your dress/skirt/whatever is where it should be – I went to a party once where a poor girl spent half an hour wandering around with her spanx on display to the whole office (it was not me...)*
  • Snog anyone you may not ‘like’ in the morning. Or give BJs on the back of the coach home. Everyone will talk about it afterwards!!!

The Don’ts (as kindly donated by some of my gorgeous followers on Twitter – thanks all!)
  • Shout random words every ten minutes and think it is really funny. You will just be ‘that dick who kept shouting dog’...
  • Give the crappy gift you got in last year’s office Secret Santa to someone in your office. Awkward...
  • Get really drunk and tell people how you really feel about them!
  • Photocopy your arse
  • Cop off with your boss
  • Take someone home... can be mega awkward...

Remember that successful networking is based upon what people say about you when you are not there. What do you want your co-workers to be saying about you after the party?!?

  • On that vein... I did once (pre TV, a long time ago) wear chicken fillets in my bra to a Christmas Party (for a very posh law firm) and then proceed to crazy dance with my boss – during which one fillet worked its way out of my strapless bra and dress and flew across the dance-floor. I kid you not.

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