How to Survive the Office Christmas Party!

It is nearing the end of year and the season of office parties has begun. This could be your big chance to smooze up to senior management and vie for future promotion opportunities. It could be your chance to make a move on that hottie in accounts or just a great opportunity to relax, enjoy the company of your colleagues in a social setting and celebrate the year.

But the office Christmas party is often far from an innocent social event and fraught with potential drama. So how can you survive the office Christmas party, below Following are some tips from Lisa O'Brien, our CareersCoach.

Dilemma 1:
I want to look really sexy at the Christmas party... Is this possible without compromising my professionalism?

Lisa our CareersCoach says:
Yes, you can turn all the heads at the party, by looking sexy but do it without compromising your corporate image. That said turning up at the Christmas partly looking like a Tara Reid outfit is going to turn heads but not in the way that you want.
Dress appropriately for the occasion and think 'accidentally sexy' or 'sophisticated career woman sexy'. Then you will turn every head the right way.

Dilemma 2:
A senior manager that I have been trying to meet all year will be at the Christmas party. This could be my one chance to meet and impress him an idea. Is it appropriate for me to approach him?

Lisa our CareersCoach says
Yes, but don't bowl him over, remember this party is for him to relax and let off some steam as well. Allow your target to settle into the party, then when the time is right approach him, smile broadly then introduce yourself. Start with some general chitchat, then when a conversation opening comes up, tell him that you have some fantastic business ideas that you would love to share with him. Do not give away too much information at the party but hint at how your ideas can assist him with a business challenge that he is currently facing (senior managers love people who can solve problems for them). Then give him a couple of options for times to meet to discuss your ideas. Do this by saying would it be better if we discussed this on (day? and time? or on day? and time?). Don't be afraid to be assertive just don't bail him up all night at the party.

Dilemma 3:
I have been infatuated with my boss all year and I really think that the feeling is mutual. The problem is that since he is my boss I really need to be the one to make the move and I think that the Christmas party could be my opportunity. What do you think? How can I make my move.

Lisa our CareersCoach says
Many of us have fantasized about having an office romance and according to statistics up to 58% of us actually done it! So it is only natural that you want to make a move i there has been sexual tension between you and your boss. However you need to be really careful and think about if this is what you really want. Consider how your boss would react if you did make a move and what impact this might have on your other colleagues and your career. Think long and hard about what would be the outcome of such a move and whether or not it would be worth it. As a CareersCoach I cannot advise you to make a move, but as a woman I get it J.
Whatever you do use your instincts and play it smart, if you decide to go ahead careful weight the consequences, make sure that your confidentiality is protected and that you do not become the subject of office gossip or a romance related career crisis.

Dilemma 4:
I am terrified that I will embarrass myself at the Christmas party. I love to drink campaign, laugh and socialise but sometimes things can just get a little out of hand. How do I have fun at the Christmas party without embarrassing myself?

Lisa O'Brien our CareersCoach says:
Great question! Whilst the Christmas party is for you to have fun, it is also a time when you are on show to the rest of the organisation. This includes being on show to people who could influence to your career. The last thing that you want to do is to get rolling drunk and start making a scene. To prevent any drunken mishaps pace yourself with the drinks. Ensure that you eat something substantial either during or before the party so that your body will be less reactive to alcohol. Ensure that you keep your own drink in your hand at all times to avoid spiking and finally if you start to feel a bit tipsy then hit the water or soft drinks before things get out of hand, or head for home if it is getting late and the party is winding down.

By Lisa O'Brien
Lisa runs and is the author of "Interview Coach" and "Goal Setting Coach".