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LIV President's Blog 2012

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Christmas Parties – 6 Essential Do’s and Don’ts

Christmas Parties – 6 Essential Do’s and Don’ts

Christmas parties can often be dreaded by employees and employers alike. But this need not be the case. Follow these ‘6 essential rules’ and not only will you survive your firm’s Christmas party, you might actually enjoy yourself…

Rule number 1 - Attend:
GO to your Christmas party. It’s a great opportunity to meet your colleagues and superiors in a casual environment.

Rule number 2- Venture out of your conversation comfort zone:
Christmas party chit chat should be about getting to know your colleagues and strengthening relationships with co-workers.  We know it's easy to stick to your usual "clique" that you have developed over time at the firm, but this is a perfect opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and network with those you don't know too well.

Also no one likes a sourpuss, so chest out, smile on your face, appear upbeat, and forget about bringing up subjects such as "my client is really giving me a hard time" or "I hope this deal goes through smoothly" or "I can't believe what that summer clerk did at the last Christmas drinks". Take the opportunity to discuss hobbies, sport, your dog, WHATEVER - just so long as it's not work.

Rule number 3-Behaviour and alcohol consumption: Exerting self-control is the key!

Have A drink. Just avoid having ten. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) at Christmas drinks gone by FELL IN A BIN. Yes you read that correctly. He fell in the bin because guess what, he "refreshed" himself beyond his capabilities. The bin was placed next to the conversation group which included the Principal. My friend had one too many glasses of Wolf Blass and as he stepped back to grab an hor d'oeuvre from the reasonably priced wait staff, he lost his footing and fell in the plastic bin behind the group. The music stopped, the chatter in the room disintegrated and it was officially awkward. The party will die down pretty quickly after that and you don't want to be explaining that later to your supervisor on Monday morning.

But you’re fine right? You don’t fall in bins? Well, it might not be a bin you fall into, but it could be a table, a door, some stairs, even your supervisor's lap. Whatever it is, the bin is a metaphor. Know your limits and know when to stop!

Rule number 4 -What to wear if it’s straight after work:
Always aim to present yourself professionally, however the Christmas party calls for a slightly more casual vibe. It seems acceptable for men to remove their tie and unbutton a top button, (anymore and you run the risk of resembling Peter Andre circa 1990's). Ladies, feel free to ditch the heels -flat shoes are more than adequate at an event like this.  Remember: corporate but with an ounce of casual flare.

Rule number 5- Everybody dance now?
DO NOT COMMENCE POPPING AND LOCKING. If there's a dance floor, it is enough to just rock from side to side, maybe mime a few words. But don't go overboard. No one likes an awful rendition of Nicki Minaj's "Starships". Or any rendition for that matter. Enjoy yourself but remain subdued.

Rule number 6- Don’t get swept off your feet:
If at any point during your Christmas drinks, you think to yourself perhaps I’ll just flirt with that woman/man from the other end of the office”…. Think again. As we all know engaging in an office relationship is fraught with danger. It is NEVER advised to establish a romantic connection with a colleague, especially where alcohol is involved, (for obvious reasons).

Good luck, enjoy the festivities and Merry Christmas! Lachie Beeston

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