It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

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Holiday party time is upon us once again. There’s a bevy of decent advice to follow on office holiday party etiquette, particularly if you’re just starting out in your career. I know a bit about appropriate behavior at holiday parties - I used to work for companies where there were multiple holiday parties, not where I could enjoy myself but where I was working. In a way this was a good thing because I was forced to act professionally, even in a laid-back atmosphere. For those of you who need to let loose (and really who doesn’t in this anemic economy?), I found a great article that should steer you in the right direction.

In Randall Hansen, Ph.D.’s article “Holiday Office Party Do’s and Don’ts”, professionals are reminded that this is not a good time with friends. You are still in the company of co-workers (and bosses) and need to keep your reputation in tact. I typically recommend refraining from drinking at all or following some office protocol; maybe have one drink and only if you are eating. Don’t put yourself ina situation where you’ll be embarrassed to go to work the next morning because office gossip is running rampant with holiday party stories. If you’re like me and enjoy NBC’s “The Office,” the show gives a great version of what not to do during an office holiday party. If you’re new to the workplace, maybe watch an episode for due diligence?

Remember that office holiday parties are a time to reflect upon the year without making a scene. If you dislike your co-workers or are the new co-worker, it’s fine to keep a low profile. However, it’s important to make some effort at events such as these. Help out if possible (especially if you’re new or a young staff member) and put a smile on your face, even if only for an hour.

Have a happy and safe holiday season. If you have any good office holiday party stories, I’d love to hear them.

You can also read more helpful information at

Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English teacher. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications.

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