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5 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Career at the Company Holiday Party

A little booze never hurt anyone, right? Well, if you’re talking about boozing at the company holiday party, then you’re absolutely wrong. We’ll show you what to do if you care to obliterate any chances you have at a thriving career … ever.

holiday party etiquette

(Photo Credit: GW Fins/Flickr)

1. Booze until you bruise. (It’s sort of catchy, right?) Chances are, there will be readily available and free adult beverages at your company’s holiday party, but that doesn’t mean you have to consume them all within the first hour, as far too many employees regrettably do. Be careful about your alcohol intake early during the party, because, yes, that crazy drunken lunatic could very well be you by the end of the night. It’s difficult to redeem your all-star status at the company when you’ve made a complete belligerent fool of yourself in front of the entire company, including their spouses. Save yourself from having to beg for redemption to save face, and just act like a decent human being who can handle his liquor this holiday season. Capiche?

2. Gossip about everyone, especially the boss. Loose lips sink ships, especially when they’re under the influence – because calling the boss’ wife fat, or saying the HR lady is a floozy is a surefire way to get canned. Moreover, regardless of whether or not the person you’re venting about is around, word will most definitely get back to him or her. Therefore, save yourself the oh-so-embarrassing Monday morning talk with your boss or HR and bite your tongue when it comes to gossiping at the holiday party. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

3. Have an extramarital affair. Sadly enough, you could simultaneously end your love life and career by joining this group of extra-special people who think that cheating is acceptable at holiday parties. AshleyMadison.com, a pro-cheating website whose motto is, “Life is short. Have an affair.” (wait, what?), reports that out of the 23,455 users on the site, “72.2 percent of women and 59.8 percent of men who have cheated on their spouses with a coworker say it started at the office holiday party,” as reported on Huffington Post. We’re positive that we don’t have to remind you that cheating, on any level, isn’t the best personal or professional decision you can make, so be wary of the extramarital temptations that company holiday parties, apparently, beget.

4. Sit in the corner like a log. A great way to get noticed for all the wrong reasons is by being the antisocial, judgmental prude lurking in the corner. No one likes a judger, especially when she is the only Sober Sally in the house. (Which is not to say that you can't be sober. Just that you should still be social and have fun, even if you're drinking the sparkling cider.)

The point is, company holiday parties are meant for employees to mingle, laugh, and let loose (but not too loose) at the expense of the company – a reward, if you will. Sitting in the corner comes off as ungrateful to your employer and co-workers, so get up and socialize. It’s a great way to get to know your colleagues, if you’re the new kid in town, too.

5. Punch a colleague really hard in the face for no reason (and then “blame it on the Goose.”) Undoubtedly, there will always be tension in the office between co-workers, but the company holiday party is not the place to brawl it out. Don’t let your “liquid courage” get in the way of your common sense when dealing with difficult co-workers at your party, and, if you know that you tend to get aggressive after a few brewskies, then definitely refrain from consuming more than you know you can tolerate. Waking up in the morning and saying, “You should see the other guy,” won’t get you high-fives, bro – it’ll get you fired. 

These five points might seem far-fetched today. However, common sense and professionalism seems to go right out the window when you’re an hour into the work holiday party. Safeguard your career (and your marriage ... sheesh) from being jeopardized due to one night of irresponsible drinking, gossiping, or aggression at the party. You’re welcome.

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