'I made a fool of myself at the office Christmas party'

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career question

‘I got really drunk at my office Christmas party and made a total fool of myself. I mean, really badly … How can I face my boss and colleagues on Monday?’

Rianna, accountant, 27

career answer

Oh dear – office Christmas party hijinks are an all too familiar story at this time of year. You wouldn’t be the first accountant to find herself dancing on the tables and trying to snog the mailboy after indulging in one too many champers.

I know you must be feeling mortified and wishing it never happened, but there’s no point pretending it didn’t and hoping your colleagues will just forget. The damage has been done … now you need to think about damage control!

The most important thing you need to do is APOLOGISE. Your colleagues may not say anything to you but this doesn’t mean they don’t remember it – or aren’t talking about it as soon as you leave the room.

Be upfront and say to your colleagues and boss, ‘I’m really sorry I behaved so badly at the Xmas party’. Avoid trying to make excuses – it is what it is. This is the time to be the ‘bigger person’, admit you were wrong and apologise for your bad behaviour.

What’s done is done and there’s no point dwelling on it. It’s a lesson learned – just don’t ever do it again! The good news is that eventually someone else will do something just as embarrassing or even worse, and your story will soon be forgotten.

Flowing alcohol combined with miniscule servings of food can be a recipe for disaster. Here are some tips for ensuring you don’t find yourself in a similar situation:

  • Remember your limitations and stick to them (know when to stop!)
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach – make sure you eat something before and during the party
  • Keep yourself hydrated with lots of water – drink a glass for every alcoholic drink
  • Avoid drinks with high alcohol content
  • Drink slowly – sip, don’t scull

For more information please visit www.alcohol.gov.au.

Jo Messer

Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice.

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