Ultimate Guide: Surviving your first office party at your new company

You don't want to be remembered as THAT guy at your next office party (Stocksnap.io)

Bad decisions at the office party could instantly change the trajectory of your career. Don't you dare be tempted to do something that could have been avoided.

Summer is upon us, which means eats, drinks and the office party. Should you make friends with the barman to keep the drinks (and passing out) coming? Or pass up the fun and spend the rest of the time cooped up in the corner?

The answer is neither of course!

You don’t want to be remembered as the loser who would much rather be sitting in front of his screen cracking codes. That’s just as bad a reputation as someone who’s had one too many glasses of wine, spilling some of the contents all over their boss.

Finding a balance between being the office party pooper and the party animal is all about relaxation, finding the right balance and being aware of your surroundings.

Let’s start with your dress code. When deciding what to wear, don’t be afraid to give a little glimpse of who you are outside the office. Pull out your favourite summer dress or add sweat-free swag with that fedora. But be careful of wardrobe malfunctions. If that bra strap tends to creep up unsuspectingly, rather leave it for another time. Similarly for men, if the zipper of your shorts unzips without your doing, it won't be a good idea to wear them.

Read: Summer jobs for extra income

When hitting the party keep in mind that during social gatherings your colleagues are in essence evaluating your interpersonal skills and how you manage situations outside the office. This doesn’t mean you should have your antennas on high alert. Let your hair down and have a good time with your colleagues. You never know where a new friendship or connection could take you. Also keep an eye on your colleagues who may be drinking too much and offer them water.

Know your limit and don't go above it. Take it easy on the alcohol; you'll be thankful that you heeded this advice and avoided causing a scene. Bad things can happen from drinking too much alcohol, and they include getting into an argument with people or even worse, flirting continuously with your boss’ wife. Which leads us to the next point…

No flirting! If you have to get involved with someone at the office, do it off company hours. You do not want people gossiping. Also, it can look highly unprofessional on your part, so it is important to keep these things in mind. 

Read: Now you can tell what your co-workers really think of you

Quick office party survival tips:
  • Keep in mind that you’re at the office party and not your best friend’s do
  • Limit the alcohol you consume to one drink per hour or a glass of water after every drink
  • A good conversation starter is giving a compliment, but don’t say anything you don’t mean
  • Get to know people outside your immediate team to build new office relationships
  • Stay clear of talking about office politics or complaining about the limited alcohol
  • Arrive fashionably late and leave before things die down.
  • The office end-year party is a time to celebrate, showcase a bit of your fun side and have fun. Just remember that Monday is around the corner, and no one wants to do the walk of shame.