How to Survive Your Office Holiday Party

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‘Tis the season to be jolly. ‘Tis also the season for your company holiday party! If you’re feeling ecstatic about the opportunity, wonderful—skip to step number two. If you’re trying to decide if you want to go to this year’s party, please, please read step number one.

The bottom line is, even if you really do feel like you’re surviving, not thriving, at your office holiday party, you’ll be happy you went. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build on those work friendships and interact as individuals outside of your work. Your company is hosting this party as a token of their appreciation—the least you can do is accept it.

Here’s our tried-and-true advice for surviving your office holiday party this season.

Go, Even If You Don’t Want To

We touched on this earlier—but we’re reiterating because it’s important. Show up to your office holiday party. Even if you don’t want to. Your company, your colleagues, they put a significant amount of time, money, and effort into planning an inclusive event for you. It will show you’re invested in your career, that you’re invested in the company, and you’re appreciative of their efforts. You’ve taken the time to land an amazing employment opportunity in Napa County, it’s okay to take a few moments to celebrate!

Prepare for The Night

Putting a little bit of preparation into your holiday party plans goes a long way. Before you attend the party, think about how you can get there—and get back home—responsibly. Because most office holiday parties provide some sort of alcohol, if you plan on indulging, it might be best to use public transportation or ride-share apps to transport to and from the party. And on that note, if you’re going to be drinking, try to eat something beforehand.

Plan how long you want to be at the party, and when you want to arrive. Most people don’t want to be the first to arrive—but it’s also wise to not be the last one to leave. Yes, it’s a party, you’re meant to have fun, but it’s still important to act professionally and represent yourself in the best light.

Bring a Plus One

Most company parties will include a plus one in your invitation. If you have a special someone, definitely bring them! If not, inviting your close friend or family member—someone who will help you feel confident and comfortable around your colleagues—bring them. You could even invite your friend who you recognize their strengths as your weaknesses, or who you know will help boost your networking confidence. Your office holiday party is a chance to talk to people you normally don’t—and to leave a favorable impression on all of your colleagues.

Be Aware of Behavior

Office holiday parties should be fun. By all means, you should be able to relax and enjoy yourself with your colleagues. At the same time, it is a company party, and you do want to represent yourself in a positive manner. Self-monitoring in terms of alcohol intake is key to maintain your professional demeanor. If you’re feeling a little more woozy than you’d like, be sure to stop by the snack table and swap your cocktail for some water on the rocks. If you feel uncomfortable in a conversation or on the dance floor, just excuse yourself. Pay attention to your colleagues’ behavior, too—and don’t feel obligated to stick around in a situation you’d rather avoid.

Always Say Good-Bye (And Thank You)

There’s a time and a place for an Irish Good-Bye (aka, not saying goodbye, and just leaving.) Your office holiday party is not one of those. Remember, your company, your colleagues put time and effort into planning this experience for you. Take the time to thank them for it.


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