How to survive your work Xmas party (and stay on your boss’s good side)

Work Christmas parties… super fun or super awkward? Whether you love your work buddies or would love to see the back of them, here’s how to walk the fine line between fun festivities and a Monday morning visit to HR.

Survival tip #1: Don’t kick on from lunch

Don’t fall into the rookie trap of sneaking off for a long, boozy work lunch on the day of the party. You’ll be tired before the ‘real’ party gets going and end up a mess. Or asleep. Either way, it won’t be fun at your next performance review.

It’s all downhill from here.

Survival tip #2: Make flats your mates

There’s nothing worse than suffering through a party with blisters from your fancy new shoes (that you only bought at lunchtime because it just felt right). Stash a pair of roll-up flats in your bag (or find a way to fit in your Havis) and take a load off when the heels don’t cut it anymore. Much better for your boss to see you switch to flats than wandering around shoeless. Awks.

Survival tip #3: Keep it on the down-low

If tonight feels like the right time to tell Dave from Accounting about the secret crush you’ve had on him for months… go for it! Just pick your moment. Taking a quiet moment over a drink as you chat on the balcony = good. Grabbing the karaoke mic and serenading Dave with ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ = not so good.

This is nowhere near as romantic as your beer brain tells you it is.

Survival tip #4: Know what’s off limits

Out of bounds for work party chats: asking your boss for a pay rise; whingeing about your job; finally confronting the chronic stapler stealer. No-one likes a grinch, especially when the champers is flowing and everyone’s cutting loose from the cubicle.

Survival tip #5: Mingle all the way

Even if you have a devoted work husband/wife or a solid squad, getting out amongst it is great for your social skills and your work prospects. Chatting to everyone not only makes you a decent human, but it shows your boss you know how to adult and get along with all types of people. And you may just see a new side to Jan the receptionist.

Yes, silly group pics are mandatory. Get in there!

Survival tip #6: Check yourself (in)

If you know you’re in for a big night, check into a nearby hotel before the party gets underway. You’ll have a base to dump your work stuff and get changed, or to pop out for a quick breather and freshen-up. If you want to smoke bomb and disappear into the night, you’ll be much less likely to get busted slipping away to your room than waiting in the street for a ride. And who could say no to room service the next morning?

Survival tip #7: Have somewhere else to be

If you don’t want to hang out with your workmates all night, or if you can’t trust yourself not to have one too many, arrange to meet a friend later in the evening (or better yet, have them pick you up). There’s no shame in being the first one to leave – especially if it’s to kick on somewhere else, away from your boss!

What’s your go-to Xmas party survival tip?

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