MN Business Tip Of The Day: Don’t Treat Work Events Like College Parties

December 12, 2013  |  

Holiday time is party time. It’s one of the few points in the year where you get to hang out with people you work with — colleagues, clients, executives, etc. — and enjoy a cocktail, a little nosh, and some conversation. If you work for a particularly loose company, there might even be some music and dancing.

Just because this is a party doesn’t mean you should treat them like a college mixer or your weekend house party. In between the constraints of the workplace and the free-for-all of your free time is a place that we’ll call “professional casual.” In these situations, it’s totally acceptable to have a drink and a few laughs, but this is definitely not the place for you to lose all composure and start partying like it’s 1999.

That means:

-Watch your language. Cuss words, outrageous slang, and inappropriate references to people you work with are a no-no.

-Be careful of how much you drink. If you feel like that last glass of wine is going to your head, stop, grab a glass of water, and head to the ladies room for a moment to gather yourself. If you’re really starting to get out of sorts, politely excuse yourself and leave the party entirely. You’ve partied enough.

-Pick and choose your topics of conversation. This time of year, you can talk about any number of things: holiday plans, movies that have been nominated for awards, your favorite TV show, your hobbies, that book you read, that article that caught your eye, even a project that you’re looking forward to working on in the New Year. Don’t get too personal or veer into controversy.

-If there’s dancing, stick to a two-step. This isn’t a “Body Party,” a Britney-Justin dance off, or an Usher video. The dancing is there to add a little more party flavor but shouldn’t be the clarion call for crunk.

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