The Office Christmas Party - how to survive!

Dreading the office Christmas party? It's that time of year again and it's easy to run away put your head down and try to avoid it altogether. Whatever your reason for wanting to avoid the event there are ways to cope. So if you're...

  • shy and retiring
  • averse to parties in general
  • hate your work colleagues
  • don't know how to dress
  • older than the others
  • younger than the others
  • hate alcohol
  • frightened you'll drink too much
  • worried about being on your own
How to survive the office Christmas party #office Christmas party http://www.style-yourself-confident.com/the-office-christmas-party.html

Plan, plan, plan ahead - you might even enjoy it!

Get it into perspective

  • Often the only social occasion of the year so think of it as a couple of extra hours to mix with work colleagues
  • It's not good to be thought of as anti-social!
  • Teamwork is important so your presence will be noted
  • You're one step ahead as you know the guests already
  • Whatever your reason for wanting to avoid the office party there are ways to beat the worries and survive!

Keep it brief - but do it with style

  • Speak briefly to the host (or boss) in advance and say that you'd love to come but already have a family occasion arranged - you'd like to pop in for an hour if that's acceptable.
  • If dinner is planned drop in for just one drink first, set your time limits and have your escape route planned so you can get in and out graciously.
  • If partners are included in the invitations and you're unattached find a colleague in the same position. Arriving with a friend is the most supportive thing.
  • This is not the time to throw your look together at the last minute. Plan your outfit hair and makeup in advance, not over the top but whatever makes you feel and look your best.
How to survive the office Christmas party #office Christmas party http://www.style-yourself-confident.com/the-office-christmas-party.html
  • Looking good for the office Christmas party can be a major boost. Keep it simple - plain pants with a pretty top, a bit of sparkle if that's your thing - or just add a dressy top to a plain suit. 
  • Decide in advance what you'll drink - if you're driving you've got the obvious reason for no alcohol.
  • It's always difficult to please everyone so make a point of praising whoever is making the arrangements.

How to do it

How to actually do it...

  • Be prepared for basic questions and plan your reply.
  • Avoid office gossip - smile politely and say 'work's not on the agenda tonight'
  • People love to talk about themselves so be the one to ask the questions. 
  • Ask about Christmas or Holidays and just listen!
  • Greet your host, accept the drink of your choice and decide to enjoy yourself for a short while.
  • Watch the clock, make your thanks and leave on time. 

How not to do it

If you decide to stay and enjoy it, always be aware that you're with the boss and colleagues who you have to face the next day. Yes unfortunately, you will be judged on your behaviour.   

  • Keep alcohol firmly under control
  • Don't pile your plate too high with food
  • Avoid the office lothario at all costs
  • Don't dress too casually
  • Avoid anything too tight, too short or too plunging - think tasteful
  • Avoid too much makeup, jewelry or perfume
  • Avoid office gossip you can find yourself being mis-quoted...
  • Don't do anything that you won't be proud of when it's discussed the next day!
How to survive the office Christmas party #office Christmas party http://www.style-yourself-confident.com/the-office-christmas-party.html

You've survived

Give yourself a pat on the back. Your attendance at the office Christmas party will certainly have earned you Brownie points and renewed respect in the New Year!

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