How to Survive a Work Holiday Party

How to Survive a Holiday Work Party

How to survive a work holiday party

It’s a time of year that some people love and others hate, but nothing can be more difficult to get through than a work holiday party. There is alcohol flowing, lots of emotion flying around and the dreaded politics of the office lurking underneath the surface.

More and more companies are spending large amounts of cash on their holiday parties which often makes for a some very embarrassing stories and even the end of some careers. However, there are some ways you can navigate this minefield and avoid being the subject of the holiday party scandal this year.

Come ready to wow

We don’t just mean your wardrobe (though you should carefully consider what you are wearing), what we are talking about is be ready to sell your work self. Though it’s a Christmas party, it’s also an opportunity to talk about yourself in a positive light without boasting and to make sure that the boss remembers you for all the right reasons. How you dress, what you talk about, how much you drink, how you deal with your drunken colleagues and unwanted admirers will all inform the image of you that your boss sees. There’s no need to be the workaholic and brown nose that everyone will spurn the next day, but there’s also no need to waste the opportunity.

Dress to impress

What you wear says a lot about you to everyone at the holiday party. If you come wearing jeans and a worn out t-shirt whilst everyone else is in tuxedos, then it’s not going to go down well. If you turn up with a skirt up to your expectations and a plunging neckline, then it’s also not necessarily going to be portraying the image that you want your boss to see. Find out if there is a dress code, the type of holiday party it is going to be, what other people are wearing and then dress to outshine everyone with style, class and sophistication. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.


When you get to the office party, come ready to show that you are a human being and not just an office drone. Be warm, friendly, have some humility and even some funny anecdotes that you can tell over the course of the evening. Charming and engaging people always stand out in a crowd, and with a little preparation, you can ensure that you are one of those people. It’s important to remember that humility, warmth and a general interest in other people are key leadership skills and something that your boss will be looking out for – especially if you are up for promotion. Just make sure that you avoid dull small talk as this soon dries up and helps you to fade into the background.

Know your limits

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks at the holiday party, but if you are in the middle of a conversation with your boss and end up throwing up on them, that’s not going to help your career – and it’s something that you will be constantly reminded of for years to come. Enjoy yourself, but remember to judge the mood of the party – not many office holiday parties can tolerate drunken employees dancing on the bar or tables to a selection of 1980s hits. Don’t miss out on the fun by being too reserved, but remember nobody likes the guy who goes around the party trying to get everyone to have as much fun as he thinks he’s having.

One final tip

Remember, while it is a holiday party it is still work so act and speak accordingly.

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