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Obviously, if you're the one in charge of planning the holiday office party you have the power to make it fantastic (hint: hire entertainment) or a snooze fest (i.e. don't hire entertainment). But what if you're just a regular worker giving up a Friday night to hang out with the same people you spend all week trying to avoid? How can you have fun and help your career? We have tips!
Wear Fun Accessories
People are often advised to tone down their party wear when it comes to the office party. Your professional reputation can suffer if you dress too provocatively for occasions that combine social and business. But that's no reason not to let your personality shine, and also attract the right kind of attention from higher-ups and co-workers you might not normally get a chance to talk to. A statement necklace, a fun tie, or great shoes can all be conversation starters and show that you are more than a cubicle rat. The more people you talk to, the more fun you'll have.
Don't Bring a Date
If you're married or in a significant relationship than it's probably expected that you bring your spouse, and you should. But, if you aren't dating anyone seriously, than don't bring someone just to have a date. If you do, you'll spend your time entertaining your date instead of getting to know your co-workers and bosses. Going single gives you a chance to really bond with your co-workers, which makes the night and your work day more fun! If you are bringing a date, make sure to work out a subtle signal for "I don't know his name but I should, please introduce yourself."
Have a Drink
You probably already know that you shouldn't get drunk at a work event, but you also don't want to come off as the office nanny by being conspicuous about NOT drinking. If you don't drink alcohol at all then order something a little more festive looking than a soda or water. Try egg nog or cranberry juice and seltzer water, or something else that makes use of drink mixers. If you drink, go ahead, order one alcoholic drink and do your best to nurse it. When it's done switch to the festive looking non-alcoholic drink. Staying sober, but not making it a spectacle lets you enjoy the spectacle of those who don't!
What other tips do you have for surviving office parties? Share in the comments below.