IF YOU work in an office, you're entering a dangerous season. It's time for the office Christmas party and all the shenanigans it can involve.
Trust us, a faux pas at the staff get-together can affect your job prospects for months or years to come.
Edwin Trevor-Roberts, of leading career management firm Trevor-Roberts, said it helps to know about memorable stories from previous years so you can work out what isn't acceptable.
If you do cross that line - "honesty is the best policy. Have conversations with key people and apologise for your behaviour".
It can also be so embarrassing that you don't even feel like showing your face at the office.
Remember, getting drunk is usually at the root of all other sins.
Yes, the alcohol may be free, but now isn't the time to win the drinking contest.
The reason: "The more you drink, the fewer your inhibitions," said Byron Bay psychotherapist Shirley Hughes.
The office party is not the time to do a strip dance on the table or tell the boss what you really think of them
Talking about inhibitions, the office party is not the time to do a strip dance on the table or tell the boss what you really think of them. You risk regret, humiliation, or worse - just ask ex-David Jones CEO Mark McInnes, whose advances on publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk at an office Christmas party resulted in a career-destroying sexual harassment lawsuit.
That said, remember that parties are about socialising and meeting new people, perhaps those you don't get a chance to mix with on a daily basis, said Mrs Hughes.
"Be an observer for a while and see who you would like to spend time with," said Mrs Hughes.
Good manners are about making other people feel comfortable so practise the art of being a good conversationalist.
Don't bang on endlessly about work, advised Mr Roberts. Ask people about their family, their hobbies, or their pets.
Finally, wear something nice, not an old T-shirt and your jeans, or something too revealing.
The office Christmas party survival guide:
- Socialise with everyone, including those you may not normally get to talk to.
- Wear something appropriate. Plunging cleavage or extra tight trousers are out.
- Have a snack before you get there so you don't dive on the food, or get drunk too quickly.
- Consider not drinking alcohol, but sticking to soft drinks instead.
- Have fun. It's a party after all. Mingle, mingle, mingle.
- Get too drunk
- Ask the boss for a pay rise.
- Tell the colleague you fancy how sexy you find them.
- Stuff yourself with the free food and be labelled the office pig.
- Bitch and moan about the company.