Three Ways to Remain Professional During Holiday Office Parties

presentsAlas, holiday office parties could be fun. Or they could be the end of your reputation. Here are three tips to keep in mind to actually enjoy the holiday party without ending up in a crazy karaoke scene that ends up on YouTube.

There is a fine line but you can definitely remain professional while having a good time.

1. Limit alcohol. We know this sounds simple but participating in a PG-rated office party really does go back to basics. Do you really want to be the person everyone’s talking about on Monday morning after wearing that lampshade on your head? We didn’t think so.

Tip: Limit yourself to a maximum two alcoholic beverages and do not drink and drive. Opt for seltzer, soda or water after that. Plus, after a certain point it can actually be more fun watching everyone else than being part of shenanigans.

2. Spend a few minutes chatting with management. Yes, you really should rub shoulders with the big wigs. Have fun with it and try not to make it completely about work. Make sure he or she knows who you are and just like a networking mixer, try to talk about something you can relate to outside the office like sports.

Tip: Make it your business to briefly meet with top leaders at the very start of the soiree. Arrive on time and approach them right away. This way, you’ll get it out of the way so to speak and before you imbibe that first cocktail.

3. Enjoy yourself! Sure, we focus so much on staying professional in this somewhat social environment but you earned this party. Enjoy the food, the tunes and most of all, the company of your colleagues!

Tip: Have fun! Remain professional by wearing something more conservative than nightclub-ish and act professional, too. That doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the group selfie or line dance. Smile! (And if the party is a bit painful dealing with colleagues you just can’t seem to get rid of, let’s try to stay positive. In a few short hours it will be over! Or, you can always leave early. That’s why it’s critical to put in face time with key leaders first.)