The dos and don’ts at office parties |

The dos and don’ts at office parties

For those who venture out into the world of partying with their peers, plenty of groups offer solicited and unsolicited advice on how to behave.

According to Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International, a firm specializing in business etiquette, the cardinal rule is to remember that no matter how festive the occasion, it’s still about business.

Don’t fall off the fast track to success or risk damaging your professional reputation in one night of inadvertent blunders, Klinkenberg said.

She adds her own tips for survival:

n Eat, drink and be merry in moderation. Where else but the office party can you find the chief executive officer and the mail room clerk bellied up to the bar together?

n Dress appropriately for the occasion. The tight and revealing garments may be better left in the closet.

n Use the evening to spend time with others. Try not to spend the whole evening with the office buddies.

n Clarify with the party coordinator who’s invited. Boyfriends and best gals aren’t always on the guest list.

n If you’re a star performer, don’t drink enough to embarrass yourself during a speech.

n Pay attention to the time you arrive and the time you leave the event. Even if you don’t want to go, avoid arriving 20 minutes before it ends just to make an appearance.

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