It’s Black Friday – Beware The Office Christmas Party!

The last Friday of work before Christmas is traditionally the day that many companies have their Christmas party. It’s a day the emergency services label ‘black Friday’ because of the number of call outs they get related to incidents caused by a generous helping of Christmas ‘spirit’ - in both senses of the word! This year in particular with the weather conditions they are even more concerned. If your job requires you to be a driver remember that you may still be over the limit the following morning. As I headed home last night from a PSA (Professional Speakers Association) meeting in London, I was reminded what a difficult line it is to navigate for women in business. I watched a group of young, well dressed women, being led by a group of older male colleagues to the next watering hole. We women know we have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men. They however, often seem hell bent on persuading us to drink as much as them – I guess it’s that stereotype of the secretary removing her glasses and letting her hair down. A word of caution though – if you have spent the year building your reputation don’t let one night of over indulgence undo a whole 12 months of hard work. Remember also that there is a fine line between being charming and being too flirtatious, one which often gets blurred when alcohol is involved. This is particularly important if you are a woman who works primarily with men, as male colleagues are not always the best judges of the difference between friendliness and romantic interest. So if you are heading out tonight, have a great time but make sure you aren’t the focus of the office gossip next week. You can read more in my book ‘Beyond the Boys’ Club’ about savvy socialising, order your copy here.

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