7 tips on how to survive the Christmas party

Things are often pretty relaxed at Christmas parties. However, not every type of behavior is good for your career. Read how to steer well clear of putting your foot in it.

1. It's important to participate
Anyone who doesn't attend the Christmas party may well turn themselves into an outsider. And since Christmas is merely the “reason” to have the party, “non-Christians” shouldn't put themselves on the sidelines by not attending.

2. Go easy on the alcohol
As the number of alcoholic drinks rises, the inhibitions often fall. A male colleague can end up getting dangerously close to a female colleague, or you end up accidentally saying a few words too many about the upcoming restructuring project. Consider the consequences on the next day at work. Team colleagues keep a very close eye on all that's going on and will love to tell about it. If you don't want to jeopardize your professional reputation, then switch to non-alcoholic drinks in good time.

3. Small talk instead of big talk
The party should get people away from their everyday work. That's why it's better to not hold the party at work and to avoid topics like “pay rise” and “company politics.” Take the opportunity to talk to colleagues you don't know that well. A good network will also benefit your career.

4. Gossips live dangerously
Even as an “observer” you should know that it's dangerous to know about colleagues going off the rails. Anyone who witnesses a project manager gradually losing control should probably politely take their leave. People tend to also resent the shame and guilty conscience of those who were “there.”

5. Xings to do—after the Christmas party
In the age of Facebook, it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep an overview and control over your own online reputation. You should therefore set a Google Alert with your own name so that you can find out quickly what's being posted about you on the Internet. Check whether colleagues have posted inappropriate photos of you from the Christmas party. Don't let the Internet become a career killer.

6. Professional tip!
If your boss offers to use first names after a few drinks, it's better to act as if you didn't hear him. Remember that it will be the same “old” colleagues and superiors sitting across from you on the next day at work. Make sure you resume a more sober tone. If, however, someone points out to you that you agreed to be on first name terms the evening before, you can calmly accept it.

7. Turtleneck or tie
You're better off choosing a somewhat more conservative outfit if no dress code is stipulated. After all, you are still in a “business” setting. If there is a dress code on the invitation, you must adhere to it. The host has chosen the setting for the party and would like the guests to also give the party its due by dressing appropriately.

Anke Quittschau
Tel.: +49 6132 979 24 00
E-mail: Anke.Quittschau@korrekt.de

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