Office parties can be a lot of great fun or they can be very stressful. People may worry that their behavior at an office party may be scrutinized, and maybe others may not realize how much their behavior at the event might impact their careers later on. This may be your first office event or it may be one of several you have attended, but you need to know how to behave appropriately at one of these functions.
Dress appropriately for the occasion. Find out what everyone else is wearing before the party so you will not feel out of line with your own outfit. Do not wear something too controversial or revealing. If the event is more formal in nature, then wear something that suits the occasion. If it is casual, then wear something that is more on the dressy-casual side. Although you are not at work, you still need to dress with work in mind.
Remember that after the event is over, everything will go back to normal. This means that even if your boss is extremely friendly and chatty with you this one evening, he or she may suddenly go back to an unapproachable person the next time you see him or her. The person from accounting may suddenly not find you as attractive as he or she did at the party. Make decisions wisely and keep in mind that many things will change.
It is never wise to lose your composure in front of your superiors or coworkers. Overindulging in alcohol can certainly make a person lose control of his or her behavior. Limit your alcohol consumption. If someone upsets you, let it go and move on. If things get out of control at the celebration, you can certainly make the wise decision to leave. An office event is never a good place to unburden your soul or discuss personal issues with anyone.
Arrive on time so you can leave early if need be. If you arrive on time, you can make the rounds to have small talk with everyone and then leave early if you do not like where things are headed or if you have to be somewhere else. Everyone will see that you showed up, had a nice little time, and then had to leave early. Be prepared to explain why you must leave early either expectedly or unexpectedly.
Plan ahead and know when you are going to leave. If you want to stay for a long time until the event is over, then make sure you know how you are going to get home if you are drinking. Do not rely on someone else from work for a ride. He or she may change his or her plans or drink alcohol. Make sure you can call a cab, catch a bus, or have a friend pick you up at a certain time. There is no excuse to drive when you have been drinking.
Be sociable and mingle with everyone. There may be people at the office that you avoid at all costs because you do not get along. However, this is a social event, and you need to socialize with the people that you do not like. Be prepared with some small talk. You do not need to spend a long time chatting with the person, but you do need to at least say hello and try to be as nice as you possibly can.
Help others if they overindulge in alcohol or need assistance. People will remember your responsible behavior and may think of you in times when an important new job opportunity comes up. Make sure that you do not overdo it by talking about how you helped out at the event. Be subtle and let your actions speak for themselves at this office function.