Christmas Do's and Don'ts!

12 Dec 2012

Office party faux pas: the dos and don'ts this Christmas 

Picture the scene: you wake up, the faint smell of party poppers still in your hair, last night's makeup perfectly imprinted on your pillow, as the memories beginning to gather themselves in your mind's eye. Three words begin to take shape, and a vague sense of panic kicks in: Office… Christmas… Party… wha-? Uh-oh. Queue the flashbacks…  
Your boss looking at you in horror because you've just asked for a pay rise  or told her it's you holding this company together, or asked who she'd snog if she had to, no - no, listen - had to.

How to avoid it
-          Do stay professional; this is your chance to make a great impression on a personal level, but she'll still be thinking of you (and essentially evaluating you) as an employee.
-          Don't bombard her with information about your wild social life; it could have her wondering about your suitability for the job.
-          Show that you're a sensible human being with a life outside work and you're doing well.

You're as drunk as a skunk and less well-mannered. You've been telling anyone who'll listen what you actually think of Keith in finance, explaining the real reason you were off sick that day, and generally handing everyone a portfolio of cringes for them to take out at regular intervals for the next year. Your lipstick's all over your teeth and your hair's got red-wine puke in it. Yes, the pickled look is most certainly to be avoided. At all costs.

How to avoid it
It's quite likely that everyone will be encouraging each other to drink, especially if the atmosphere could rival a hostage situation, but there are ways to avoid your less than glamorous alter-ego:
-          Do swap shots for a much-more-classy glass of champagne.
-          Drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink.
-          Don't "take the edge off" by having a couple of sneaky wines before you leave the house, and don't insist everyone down their drink each time anything work-related is mentioned – people will just be left bleary-eyed and with nothing to talk about.    
The office gossip looking you up and down in glee because your outfit's falling apart.

How to avoid it
-          You may have had your perfect party outfit ready for weeks, but things can go wrong on the night. Do be prepared by bringing along an extra pair of tights in case you end up with ladders.
-          Don't go over the top with hair and makeup – you'll spend half the night worrying if your do is still as gravity-defying as it was when you could barely fit in the taxi to get there. Also, if it starts to go askew, you'll never be able to recreate an elaborate hair or makeup look under pressure, especially in work's grotty loos.
-          Keep things simple; wear a hairstyle you've tried before, and a makeup look you're comfortable with. Smoky eyes top red lips in the fuss-free stakes. 

You. Doing a dance. In the centre of the room. Need we say more?

How to avoid it
-          Fair enough, Gangnam Style is catchy, but so's the flu. Giving in to either can be an unattractive sight to say the least. Leave your horse dance firmly where it belongs - behind your bolted front door - and settle for a slight head bop.   
Those gorgeous heels you lusted after for months are on your hands and you're skipping about on the cobbled streets barefoot, trying to hail a taxi and simultaneously screeching at Rob from HR that the party's not over yet.

How to avoid it
-          Do pack a pair of flats in your handbag - you'll be glad when your feet start to get tired, and they'll certainly earn you more style points than traipsing around in the dirt.
-          Don't be the last one to leave the party – it's always best to leave them wanting more.

 *Guest post in festive collaboration with Simply Be.