Another new series for the blog, this time one that I have shamelessly ripped off from my wonderful wifey, Vic's Tips!
I've been to a few office parties in my time - including one which ended with the store manager giving lap dance to another member of staff in the back of a mini-van, so I think I've pretty much sussed my way around them!
1) Make sure you know the dress code - you don't want to be the one who is way over/under-dressed. Most office parties will be smart/casual, but if in doubt, check! Even googling the venue might give a hint as to the dress code.
2) Don't assume everyone will know your name/role. This is especially key in a big company, so don't be afraid to introduce yourself/ ask someone else their name and job. This also lets you network a bit to see if there's any other area of the business you think you'd enjoy. Some office parties will share a space with a couple of other parties, so the person you're talking to might not even work for the same company as you, so they won't be offended if you ask their name!
3) Be cautious with the free drinks. Most office parties will provide some sort of free beverage - whether it be wine on the table or a tab behind the bar. Don't go overboard - you're going to have to see these people on Monday morning! Even if you're friends with people you work with an office party is never a purely social occasion.
4) Try and talk about things other than work. You're all connected by the common theme that you work in the same building/company, but you're not going to actually make friends with people if all you do is talk about work and office politics. You also avoid moaning in ear-shot of the wrong people (the boss) if you avoid work in general.
5) Don't hook up with anyone! If you find yourself 'getting along' with another member of staff take their number and arrange to meet up after Christmas. Messy office hook-ups cause tension for months afterwards, especially as most office parties won't allow you to bring your significant other.
There you have it! If you have any tips for surviving the office party, leave a comment below or tweet me @VickiMaitland.