Oh, office parties. They provide endless opportunity for awkward encounters. However, if done right, spending time with your co-workers outside the office is a great chance to break down barriers which can help you feel more comfortable being YOU at work. Some struggle navigating the tension between the professional and the partier within. However will you cope? What if that lion/lioness cannot be tamed?
Don’t fret. We’re here to provide some advice.
1. When planning your outfit, REMEMBER: you’re not attending just any party. You’re going to an office party.
Yes, it’s a summer outing, but that does not mean your navel should be on display! You can wear something that’s fun and frilly, but make sure that the length is appropriate and the slop-factor is at a zero. Also, ask others what they plan on donning.
2. Arrive late(r).
Showing up fashionably late not only takes care of the awkward “hey, I know we work together but I have no idea who you are” conversations with the early arrivers, but it can also help keep your night short and impactful!
Dealing with MS-related fatigue? Pick that optimal time to get to the party, show your face to the people that matter, have some fun, and get home to bed at a reasonable hour.
Elizabeth Taylor used to arrive at dinner parties around 2AM. While we trust a Hollywood Grand Dame’s social prowess, obviously that’s a bit extreme, but Liz was onto something. An hour after the requested start time for a casual event serves as a generally reliable rule of thumb.
3. Don’t go home with any of your coworkers, unless…
a. …you plan on seriously dating them.
b. …you’re able to separate sex from your emotions.
c. …you’re resigning the next day.
In these cases, indulge!
This one is self-explanatory, no?
Check out two tips from PR maven, Susan Blonde:
1. “Don’t reminisce about those days of caviar and champagne. Enjoy your carrot stick.” Then Susan grabs her carat, and CRUNCH! End scene. Scorsese couldn’t have done it better, himself.
We don’t even like carrots unless they’re perfectly shredded, yet even we’d follow Susan’s advice. Nobody wants to listen to how great things were. That’s depressing. The point of going to a party is to have fun. Furthermore, the last thing senior management wants to hear about at an event meant to cheer them up is their dwindling profit margin.
2. “You might not think you’re disgusting when you’re drunk, but you are.” Tell us how you really feel Susan!
Allow us to break this down: Watch the booze intake. We suggest following a two-drink maximum, a portion that yields the perfect balance between anxiously uptight and hot mess. After all, this is an office party. You’re going to need something just to survive the evening. You’d also be remiss to turn down free booze. Your liquor cabinet doesn’t stock itself. Still, you’re at work (even if the soiree is outside the office). Don’t forget it. The same rule applies to food. Take advantage, but don’t let anyone catch you throwing rolls in your purse for a “midnight snack.”
Most importantly, use common sense. If you’re thinking, “Ugh, I have a blazing temptation to rip my shirt open and jump in the lake. Should I?” don’t. Your uncertainty is your conscience pleading with you to preserve the semblance of a professional reputation you have left.
Lastly, have fun.