Patrick Ball @PatrickBall

recovering journalist. content and strategy at writing about policies, problems and benefits affecting working families.

10 Things You Should NEVER Do at Your Office Holiday Party

Our gift to you: how not to be that guy at your holiday party.

The office holiday party can be a ton of fun.

You’ve got your fancy dinner, some free drinks, a chance to mix and mingle with colleagues outside of the workplace. All good things. Play your cards right, and the company holiday party can make for a memorable night and help shape your next career move.

Leave your common sense behind, and the mix of open bar, photo booth and live bands can be a recipe for disaster. You don't want to be the one your co-workers are all Skyping about for the wrong reasons. 

Don't be that guy (or girl). There's enough holiday stress without having to worry about ruining your career trajectory by going overboard at the holiday party. To help keep you off the "Naughty List," we rounded up 10 things you should never do at your office holiday party.

1. Drink Too Much
Open bar isn't an invitation to be over-served. Act like you've been there before, skip the shots and the clear head will help you avoid bad decisions.

2. Dance Like You're In the Club  
Keep it classy on the dance floor. It's OK to show off your moves -- if you can hit the Nae Nae, then you should hit the Nae Nae. But if you work with 'em, you probably shouldn't twerk with 'em.

3. Talk Their Ear Off
Keep conversations light; best to avoid too much talk about business, politics and other potentially polarizing issues. The holiday party is an opportunity to mingle with those who you don’t spend every day with, so try to branch out and remember to listen.

4. Make Toasts
Leave the toasts to the hosts.

5. Tell Your Boss How You Really Feel 
The holiday party is neither the time nor the place to air your grievances to your boss. And don't dump on the company either. This is an occasion to celebrate the year's accomplishments, not to gripe about turnover. 

6. Tell Your Co-Worker How You Really Feel 
Also not the time or place to pour your heart out to your office crush. That could get awkward.

7. Get Too Social 
Definitely be social, IRL (in real life), but don’t go overboard Snapchatting your office party adventures – good or bad. And you should probably assume that any photo taken will end up online ... where it will be a reflection of not only yourself but your employer. So try and keep the selfies PG-rated. 

8. Ignore the Dress Code
When they say "festive," they don't mean "Sexy Santa" or "Buddy the Elf."

9. Forget Your Table Manners 
Whether it's a plated dinner, buffet-style or passed hors d'oeuvres, you shouldn't have a mouth full of shrimp when you introduce your spouse to the CEO.  

10. Constantly Check In On Your Kids
Book your favorite date-night sitter. Or use your employer-provided BackupCare. We know a great place to find and manage help for all your care needs

Remember, these rules all apply to your date as well. With a little bit of grace and common sense, your office holiday party should be a night to remember -- for the right reasons.