WARNING – Office Party Ahead!

With Christmas almost upon us, the office parties are ramping up whilst the business focus is winding down. But don’t let your brain switch off too early – you want the good reputation you’ve spent all year cultivating to still be waiting for you in January.

So I thought a quick, common-sense reminder might be in order, with three tried and tested tips to keep in mind:

TIP #1 – Balance the booze

Years ago, when I was but a stripling, venturing out into the world of entertaining journalists (part of my 15 year career in PR), I got a sage piece of advice:

Always stay two drinks behind everyone else.

That way, you can still have a drink and enjoy yourself, but you’ll be a long way from being the most drunk person in the room.

That’s useful, because they’re usually the ones making an exhibition of themselves – betting they can eat 10 mince pies in a minute (only to have them re-appear immediately after), showcasing their break-dancing moves (whilst inadvertently punching their colleague in the face) or conjuring up a white-eared elephant (by turning their trouser pockets inside out and…well, you can guess where the trunk comes from).

In doing so, they’re guaranteeing top spot on the ‘List of people to gossip about’ the next day, which is not going to boost their personal brand one iota.

TIP #2 – Limit the lust

When an office romance has been bubbling under for a while – a salacious glance by the photocopier, a flirty giggle in the canteen queue – it often comes to the boil in the heat of the Christmas party. Remember though:

Every party-goer has a phone and every phone has a camera.

So unless you want the whole office (and if the photo gets onto social media, the whole world) to see you snogging the face off someone – or possibly more – dial down the desire and dial up your self-awareness.

TIP #3 – Keep your trap shut

This last tip is linked firmly to the first; one drink too many and you may find you’ve imbibed a strong dose of Dutch Courage – providing enough fortitude for you to get a few things off your chest.

Like telling your boss she’s as useful as a chocolate teapot, or letting the CEO know his wage-paying would give Scrooge a run for his money. My advice:

Put your brain in gear before engaging your gob.

If you wouldn’t think of saying these things in the office, don’t let the change of venue change your mindset.

So there you have it. Three bits of common-sense which, judging by the Christmas parties I’ve been to in the past, aren’t quite so common. Take heed before you head to your office bash and your personal brand will stay intact.

If you know someone who’s off for their shindig, be sure to pass these tips on using the share buttons. Or better still, add any anecdotes of your own with a quick comment below. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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