Let me start with some full disclosure. I do not like holiday parties at or for work. I’m okay with a communal lunch in a central area or going out for a group lunch. Both are casual and don’t require a lot of planning either on behalf of the company or with respect to what I am going to wear.
The holiday work party is fraught with difficulty. Mixing and mingling with co-workers is one thing but adding alcohol into the mix is quite another.
I am here to tell you that just because wine is offered, does not mean you have to take it. This is not high school. No one will think you are a loser because you have a soda water. If they do, brush off your resume and start looking for alternatives.
If you feel like a drink will help you relax and have a good time, stuff it. This is work. Work is not always fun. Be grateful that your company has enough money to provide you with some nice food and the time to enjoy it.
Gatherings like this are a really good time to talk to and maybe even impress people outside your normal circle and that could mean some new and interesting things for the New Year.
Getting tipsy, telling everyone you love them and throwing up on your boss’s shoes is not the best way to advance your career. It’s probably not the legacy your parents had in mind when they sent you to college.
So let’s raise a glass of holiday cheer and remember: it does not have to be a beer.