As holiday shindigs go, the office party may be viewed as an obligatory snooze-fest or an event that's fraught with peril. But if taking a pass on the festivities isn't exactly career suicide, it does mean that you will miss a good opportunity to schmooze with the higher-ups in your organization.
Working the room and engaging in friendly banter with bosses and executives is an excellent way to get in some face time with those in a position to move your career forward. But because many office parties around the holidays also feature alcohol, it means you must drink responsibly to avoid any pitfalls.
You may even want to offer to share in the planning, even if that means coordinating who brings what dish among colleagues. This can show how much of a team player you are. Alternatively, offer to greet those arriving at the door to make sure that those in charge note your presence.
Keep in mind, however, that many a career has circled the drain after a display of alcohol-fueled antics at the company party. Know when to say when. It's a good idea to set yourself a two-drink minimum at these types of functions.
You'll also want to make sure that you have arranged for a sober ride home from the party. An arrest for drunk driving could potentially jeopardize your career track.
Note, too, that other drivers may not be as prudent as you are. If you wind up injured in a collision with a drunken driver who left a holiday party, you may have several avenues to compensation that you can pursue.