A perfect gentleman knows how to work the room at the Christmas party. Whether he’s charming the ladies or making small talk with the CEO, he always leaves the right impression. With Christmas approaching, here are a few tips on how to schmooze at your office party.
The Basics: Pre-plan who you’d like to talk to and find common ground by asking your colleagues about them. Be prepared when the opportunity presents itself. Introduce yourself clearly, shake their hand and exchange pleasantries. Listen more and speak less – this means you can pick up information which could tip the balance in your favour when a promotion beckons.
Pre Party: Remember that it’s still work. 1 in 10 Christmas parties end in a dismissal or a disciplinary action for an unlucky employee, so think twice before kissing your boss under the mistletoe. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do during normal office hours and always line your stomach before arriving.
Arrival: Never arrive on time. It’ll only be you and James from HR eating canapés and making awkward small talk. A gentleman always arrives fashionably late and makes an entrance.
At The Party: Having a few drinks is fine (after all you’ve worked hard for a year and deserve some free beverages), but avoid shots and alternate alcohol with water. Don’t be the casualty everyone is talking about the next day. If you start to feel inebriated, say goodnight and leave. Stay clear of dirty dancing, keep goodnight kisses innocent and aim to wake up alone.
Don’ts: Resist using the party as an opportunity to discuss your colleagues’ failings or racy love lives, and steer clear of spreading rumours. Don’t be the office complainer and keep whinging to a minimum. Remember, social media and alcohol never ends well. Posting offensive material about the prim office worker turned party-animal after a shandy could leave you holding your p45 the following morning.
Post Party: If you do cause yourself some embarrassment, make sure you turn up early at the office the following day. The day after still counts. Crawling in with a hangover and late is not acceptable and not making it in at all is unforgivable. Apologise profusely to anyone you need to and do it sincerely, discretely and swiftly. Worst case scenario – take a moment and pray there was someone worse than you.