Office holiday parties are a tightrope between successfully boosting relationships with coworkers in a more casual setting and doing a catastrophic faux pas that would end one’s career in its tracks. Therefore, these parties are seen with a mix of anticipation and regret, but mostly the latter.
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There are many ways to make the holiday party more enjoyable while reducing the risks it poses on one’s professional development. The most important consideration is, of course, attendance. The party must be seen as a mandatory event. One must attend the party early and, should it not be to one’s liking, make a quick and discreet exit at least an hour after one’s arrival. One must dress for the occasion conservatively; the bold and the daring should be saved for another time.
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Self-control should be top priority. One mustn’t drink too much, eat too much, or cut too much rug in the dance floor. Especially important is avoiding romantic liaisons with the person one fancies in these work-related conditions. After all, who wants to end up with embarrassing pictures and statuses all over Facebook?
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Finally, one must be physically and mentally present throughout the party. To be truly immersed in the party, the employee must be willing to socialize with those in the office, giving casual company full attention for at least one to two hours. This means being off the phone for that time—daunting for some, but survivable.