Holiday Party Etiquette

23 12 2006

Tis the season. It’s almost Christmas, and we all know what that means (at least for the ones gainfully employed)… it’s Holiday Party time.

You’re going out with the people you work with. Not your friends. Not the people you can shoot the shit with at a bar or in your pajamas in your backyard. Not the people you have sexually suggestive conversations with. No, not those people. Instead, you’re going to a party with people you have professional relationships with.

I’m not saying that you can’t be friends with people you work with; it’s just that somewhere you need to draw a line. A big thick black line, preferably up to shoulder height. With the weight of a few tons. And maybe the width of a football field. Let’s face it. There just seems to be some things you cannot do with work people that you can do with your friends.

I’m not saying that all offices or companies are like this. Certainly not the jobs I’ve worked at, but as a general rule, better to be safe than known as ‘that guy’ or ‘that girl’.

Under the cut are a few tips to help you survive the Holiday Party Experience.

  •  Make sure you’re seated with appropriate people. Don’t confuse your coworkers by seemingly socializing with people you have claimed not to get along with or who are nowhere close to your age range.
  • Don’t be an overenthused shutterbug. People will try to avoid being ‘that guy/girl’ with all the incriminating photographs. That may have been fine in high school or college, but not when you’re trying to excel in your career.
  • Know your limit. On alcohol, that is. More often than not, your boss will go above and beyond the call of making the party enjoyable for all attendees. This means free alcohol. It’s not the bar on a Saturday night. Remember that. Even if your party is at a bar on Saturday night — the party is not.
  • You are not in college anymore. Put a lid on those drinking games.
  • Remember who you’re ‘partying’ with. These are people from your office. This is a business function. Act accordingly.
  • You are not in college anymore. No flirting. Don’t even mention it, even if you think your coworkers’ behavior says otherwise.
  • Keep conversation lively. No one wants to talk about work, even if you’re at a business function with work people. Let them know that you’re more than your job description.
  • Manners! You’re growing up. Let them see you act your age.



One response

23 12 2007

These are great tips. For even more tips read this article by Lydia Ramsey at

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