Everyone remembers the year that Emily from Accounts got so drunk she danced on the office desks, or the time that Tim from HR passed out dressed as Santa!

Company Christmas parties are both a blessing and a curse. You get to socialise with colleagues you don’t normally work with and build new connections. Plus, you often get treated to free meals and (more dangerously) free drinks. On the other hand, some people find the idea of having to make small-talk with people they’d rather avoid excruciatingly painful -- Bah Humbug.

However you feel about the holiday season, we’ll walk you through the DOs as well as the DON’Ts for making the most and surviving your company Christmas party.

DON’T: Get Too Drunk

You do not want to be the person everyone talks about around the water cooler. Guzzling free booze may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t. Not only will you have a Christmas cracker of a hangover the next day, but your poor behaviour could seriously damage your reputation and set you up for a bad start to the New Year.

Make sure to pace your drinking and have something to eat beforehand so that you don’t end up too drunk too quickly.  You should think Christmas parties as work time, as more often than not, they are classed as exactly this. You may not be in the actual office, but do you want your boss to think less of you after seeing you a few sheets to the wind?

DO: Dress Appropriately

Do some research into what other people will be wearing. If the Christmas party is held over the weekend or at night, you might be tempted to dress casually. But, wearing something too revealing or overly casual could damage your image. You want your boss to think of you as a professional. We suggest adhering to any set dress-code, or if in doubt dress up what you’d normally wear to work and maybe adding a festive flair like a pair of reindeer antlers or Santa’s hat.

DON’T: Talk About Work

Your work Christmas party might be the only time you see some of your colleagues outside of the office and is the perfect time to learn more about them. Plus, talking about upcoming deadlines, and how you’ll have to be on call over the holidays will certainly kill the party vibe!  Leave professional baggage at the door and try to relax and have a good time.

DO: Network

Christmas parties are the perfect opportunity to network and build your professional relationships. While you definitely don’t want to talk about work, getting to better know your boss or someone shy from another team might open some new opportunities. Try to talk with everyone you can. This is the ideal chance to make yourself known, just avoid coming across too strongly!

DON’T: Skip It

Introverts may be tempted to skip the Christmas party. After all, the idea of making small-talk and idle chit-chat fills some people with dread. Even if you only stay for a few hours, it’s important to make an appearance, it is work after all!  Failing to show could give the wrong impression (like that you’re not a team player).

DO: Have Fun

You can have fun without hurting your workplace reputation. Put on your dancing shoes, get into the Christmas spirit and talk about something other than work! You might even make a new friend or two. Just make sure you maintain certain standards of behaviour and you should be in for a good time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Change Recruitment.