I love December. The decorations, the lights and the fact that everybody is in a slightly better mood than usual makes it my favourite time of the year. The only slight trepidation I feel about December is the annual work Christmas party. To make sure that our party ran smoothly, we asked our clients for their accounts of previous Christmas parties and their tips on how to enjoy the Christmas party without jeopardising your career.
Whatever the plans for the Christmas party, whether it is drinking and dancing or sky diving and skiing, it pays to know your limits and pace yourself. Along with the embarrassment of being ‘that person’ (the one that everyone is talking about the next day), not pacing yourself could lead to you making yourself ill or worse, seriously injuring yourself. Worst of all, it could result in you having to go home early and miss all the fun. Don’t be afraid to say no to another drink, even if it is the boss who offers it.
Eat appropriate amounts
A number of clients reported that it was the Christmas dinner before the Christmas party which caused the most problems. When confronted with a ‘free’ meal, a number of workers are reported to have done their very best to ‘get their money’s worth’. While this may sound like a good idea, it rarely is, especially when you have a big night ahead of you. On the flipside, make sure that you eat enough to ‘line your stomach’ if you are planning on drinking.
Don’t talk shop
It is very easy to talk to colleagues about work. It is the one thing that you know for certain that you have in common. However, you have forty hours a week to talk to them about work. Try a different topic. Get to know them a little better and don’t worry if their interests are completely different to yours. Listen intently and try to take a genuine interest in your co-workers’ lives. It may sound strange but a better understanding of your colleagues may help you in your day-to-day duties.
Pre-plan your exit
This doesn’t mean that you should have a set time to head off (though maybe you should). It simply means that if you are travelling home after the work party, you should be aware of how to get back. If you move to a different location during the course of the event, be aware of what this will mean for your journey home and plan appropriately. Be honest with yourself. If you live a long way from the party, perhaps you should book a hotel room. If there is half a chance you won’t be able to get home, book a room. No one wants their colleague sleeping on their floor after the Christmas party.
Don’t pull a sickie the next day
If you’re supposed to come into work the next day, come into work the next day. It may not be nice and you may not achieve much but you’ll achieve more than if you stay at home in bed. The company has been good enough to pay (or at least contribute some money) for your work Christmas party and thanking them by taking the next day off because you couldn’t pace yourself appropriately is not going to make you popular with the office hierarchy.
Work Christmas parties are supposed to be enjoyed. They are a time to get to know your co-workers and reward yourself and your colleagues for all your hard work during the year. Make sure that this year you don’t over indulge and end up regretting it when you have to come back into work. One final thing, if you are a line manager or a boss of any description; cut your staff some slack. It’s Christmas after all.
Source: Vine 13