How to Survive an Office Party

Attend the dreaded office holiday party or opt out for a $25 gift card instead?  

Does the thought of getting together with your co-workers after hours make you say ‘Bah Humbug’ or is it a way to make your holidays even happier?

We’ve all heard horror stories of holiday office parties gone bad – way over-served employees hooking up and then having to face each other the next day, insulting your supervisor and forgetting it until you are gently reminded of it in her office when work commences – with all the potential angst that accompanies attending the office party, should you just skip it?  

Managers and above are forced to attend so how does it look if you opt out and leave a measly gift card instead of showing your camaraderie at the office party? While I, personally, would prefer the gift card and a nice dinner or bottle of wine, in the digital when most conversations are had over email or text, there’s something about putting on a nice outfit and getting to know your co-workers outside of the cubicle.  It’s also very interesting and sometimes shocking to meet the significant others of your co-workers.  Who would expect the insanely introverted programmer to be married to an actress, currently starring in a one woman show?  

Office parties, like most other events these days, need to be looked at as another opportunity to network. It’s the one chance you may get to tell the owner, who you’ve barely met since you started working, that you are interested in working on the new project they just announced and at least making sure he/she can put your face to your name after the night is over.

As these next few weeks are filled with office holiday parties, look at yours as an opportunity to connect instead of a dreadful night out.  Say ‘no’ to the gift card and ‘yes’ to this opportunity to have some fun – it might just pay off in the end.

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