Slinky black dresses or club wear aren’t suitable for your office party, wherever it’s being held. Check the dress code with the organizer before you go and aim to look professional. If in doubt, choosing something that you’d feel comfortable wearing to work is a good idea.
Maintain your manners
Even though this is an opportunity to mingle with colleagues in a less formal environment, don’t forget they are your colleagues and you will need to face them in the office the following day. Don’t let your manners, language or behavior slip below normal office standards.
Use the opportunity to network
Above all, your office party is a fantastic networking opportunity. Try to mingle and chat with everyone. Don’t save your best behavior until you are in front of your boss: treat your colleagues’ and bosses’ partners with equal respect – reports of your behavior will reach your boss’s ears.
Brush up on names before you go
Identify the people you want to impress before you go by brushing up on the names and responsibilities of colleagues on LinkedIn or on the company website.
Keep it light
Networking with your boss and senior colleagues is great, but this isn’t the moment to ask for a raise or promotion. Go armed with some topics to fall back on: holidays, family, funny (tasteful!) anecdotes.
Alcohol and gossip don’t mix well, especially at the office. Stay away from office gossip and don’t be tempted to moan about other colleagues or get involved in arguments.
Don’t drink too much
Since this is a work event, you may choose not to drink at all. But, if you do drink, make sure you keep it in check. You don’t want to be the subject of office gossip the following day. Even if your boss is over-indulging and encouraging you to do the same, politely decline. Your professional reputation will thank you for it.
Don’t leave it too late
While you don’t want to leave too early and leave yourself open to being labelled a party pooper or ungrateful, don’t wait until you are the last one standing (or staggering). Any time after an hour or so, once you’ve said hello to everyone you wanted with whom you wanted to speak, you can make your leave before things start to deteriorate.
Say thank you
Before you leave, find the organizers of the party and let them know you appreciate their work to put on such an enjoyable event. If you can’t find them on the night, send them an email to express your thanks for the job well done.