Steps to Stop Yourself From Becoming Part of the Office Party Rumor Mill

By Constance Hoffman, GalTime Manners Expert

As the holidays approach so does the opportunity to rub elbows with your co-workers and executive management. This is a wonderful way to make new connections, reconnect with folks from other floors, as well as enjoy the festive season with food and beverage. Just keep in mind that this is still "Work".

First and foremost, stay professional at all times. Always remember where you are and who you are around. Please do attend, even if for an hour, and make sure you mingle. This is not the time to be a wallflower. You should be aware of your attire by not revealing too much skin nor wearing anything too flashy. Keep your clothing office appropriate with a little extra color, jewelry and/or textures.

Follow these DO's for your attire:

Keep it professional
Rich fabrics and textures
You can never go wrong with a dark toned suit
Hemlines that hit at or just a couple of inches above the knee

Keep away from these:

Nothing low cut to expose your assets; whether breasts or chest hair
Leave the night club attire in the closet
Limit the sequins and shine
Anything you wouldn't typically wear to the office
Skip the white shirt under your suit jacket - Go for some color
Keep what you have a mystery; nothing too tight nor too short
No Santa hats, antlers, or any other holiday headgear
No holiday or Christmas-themed clothing.

Related: How to Enjoy Your Own Party

How you present yourself in manner and dress will determine how you are remembered; i.e., the fun loving professional or the outlandish partier. People make impressions within three seconds of seeing you. Make sure you make the right impression as it sticks with you, forever.

Always hold your beverage in your left hand to make sure your right hand is free and dry to shake hands.

Don't talk business the entire party. This is a time to get to know your co-workers on a more casual basis. Although casual and fun, this is not the time to flirt and let your hair down too much so make sure your conversation topics are appropriate.

Please make sure you monitor your alcohol intake. You should be in control the entire time and be able to recall the evening. Never leave the party without first stating a sincere thank you to the host/hostess.

Related: 4 Tips to Throw A HOT Holiday Party on a Low Budget

If a guest accompanies you, please make sure you supervise their behavior also. You don't want to be remembered negatively by someone else's actions.

Most importantly, plan on having a wonderful, relaxed time shared with friends old and new by being yourself.

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