How Not to Commit Reputation Suicide

How Not to Commit Reputation Suicide


The office year-end party is usually where some of the craziest communication of the year takes place. Colleagues are usually beyond drained and yet over jubilant and excited that the end of the year is finally here.

Add in to this equation free food and booze and we often witness a terrifying communication cocktail where employees commit career suicide and take far more than just a day to recover!

As an entrepreneur, your office year-end party is usually the most important communication platform for the year. It may be the only time that the entire staff gets together. Remember:

  • Everybody will observe and remember how you conduct yourself.
  • Your need to make the most of this phenomenal self-branding public relations platform.
  • One of the best strategic reasons to attend this party is to network. Try to engage with as many colleagues as possible.
  • Make a favourable impression on your boss and superiors.

The year-end function is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know your partners and colleagues on a more personal level. It is the one time they are guaranteed to be more open and relaxed and you can maximize on this accessibility. Shine in front of them and make a great impression!

Free alcohol is wonderful… in moderate amounts. With freedom comes responsibility, and if you over indulge it will demonstrate a lack of control and an abuse of company resources and privileges. Remember that a hangover can disappear in a day, but your reputation may be gone for a lifetime. Think twice before making the office party the occasion for a first date or back office fling!

The fine line

Get the balance right. Tread the fine line between being the office clown and the party pooper who does not join in the fun. Have fun but don’t embarrass yourself or others.

Select your topics of conversation carefully. Knowing what to say and what not to say is vital in maintaining a respected and professional reputation and a promising career. To determine professional conversational boundaries, avoid issues that might make others uncomfortable.

Red flag topics include physical appearance and health, race, religion, personal finances and office politics. Also, refrain from gossip. Just one inappropriate remark can affect your reputation and future advancement. Keep talk pleasant and positive.

Your colleagues deserve your full attention. Don’t spend the function talking on your cell phone or texting others. It is rude and you are ignoring the rest of the table.

Exit the party with charm and grace. Don’t be the first or the last to leave. Remember to say good night and thank you to the party organiser and your boss before you leave. A respectful thank you e-mail the following day also will make you shine.

NETWORKING TIP: Don’t just hang out with your co-workers that you know well. The year-end function is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to further career advancement. Look for opportunities to interact with others that you don’t interact with regularly.

Meeting colleagues from other departments can open new doors to future advancement or improve work relationships. Have fun with your buddies but also be sure to meet as many new people as possible.

John French
John French is a highly respected communication strategist and high level communication skills trainer. He has been an industry expert for the last 16 years and is the founder of Corporate Intelligence Training: