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Tips for Surviving this Year’s Office Christmas Party

How to make sure your work reputation is still intact come January.

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The office Christmas party is a wonderful thing. Not only is it a chance to unwind with co-workers during the stressful holiday season, but we also get to show the people that we work with what we’re like outside of the office environment. This is usually a good thing - but sometimes, we may want to avoid getting too personal.
 
After the season is over, when people are at the water cooler talking about the Christmas party, it is probably a good idea to avoid being the topic of conversation. After all, you work hard to gain a respectable professional reputation around the workplace.
 
So here are some basic guidelines to follow for this year’s Christmas party.
 
Be the life of the party…
Show people that you are a fun, outgoing individual. People may show you more professional respect if they see you in this light.
 
… But remember to keep yourself in check
It can be easy to over-imbibe at Christmas parties. Don’t be afraid to have a few cocktails and get a healthy buzz. But if you end up puking in the bathroom or just generally acting like a drunken buffoon, people will not look at you the same way.
 
Avoid talking shop…
You spend every single day talking about work with these people. Now it’s time to get more personal. Everyone has a life outside of the office, so make an effort to find out your co-worker’s real lives.
 
… But also avoid the usual taboo subjects
This does not mean you should immediately start talking religion and politics. Although it’s a more casual environment, people won’t just forget your opinions come Monday morning. So do yourself a favor and avoid any hot-button issues.
 
Talk to the people you usually don’t get along with…
Whether it’s a boss or a co-worker, there is almost always someone that challenges you in the workplace. That doesn’t mean you should avoid each other completely. Strike up a conversation and maybe you’ll find that you have something in common in your personal lives.
 
… But continue to avoid talking shop
If you bring up a work conversation with these types of co-workers at the party, chances are you will end up getting into a disagreement and making things worse.
 
Avoid the office hook-up…
This is always a good rule to live by. We all have fantasies of people we work with, and these fantasies can often lead to realities, which can then lead to a lot of awkward situations at the workplace. Just remember to use your judgement.
 
…But don’t turn down a good opportunity
If you do find yourself going down that road, take a step back and ask yourself if this is a decision you will be able to face on a daily basis. If it’s not, you are probably better off just avoiding the situation altogether. On the other hand, if it’s something you can live with, well then have a great time and Merry Christmas!
 

Image by ankamaslan, via Free Images.