How to impress at Christmas work functions

It’s definitely the time to be jolly as offices get ready for their annual Christmas work function. Many people forget that the Christmas office party is more about ‘office’ than ‘party’. While it may seem like a well-deserved opportunity to let your hair down with colleagues, it’s important to remember that a simple slip-up can erase an entire year’s hard work!

Leading vocational education and training organisation, the Australasian College Broadway’s ( Founder and Co-Chair, Maureen Houssein-Mustafa OAM, has witnessed the backlash of Christmas functions time and time again.

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“Too often we’ve heard Christmas party tales that make your toes curl. Senior executives mixing with junior employees, combined with a constant flow of alcohol, is a potential recipe for humiliation and embarrassment on both sides,” said Ms Houssein-Mustafa.

Maureen offers her tips on how to keep your dignity intact whilst also providing some guidelines on how to impress with your appearance.

To stay on top of your game at a Christmas function and finish off the year on a high:

1. Nominate a friend

Ask a colleague or friend to keep a diligent watch over your behaviour. As soon as you start slurring, flirting or misbehaving, it’s time for them to step in and discreetly offer you some water, food or suggest a taxi.

2. Line your stomach

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Ensure that you’re well fed before you begin drinking. If you start on an empty stomach, it may only take a few drinks before you feel sick or worse yet, vomit.

3. Think carefully before you bring your partner

At the time it can seem like a great idea. But ask yourself, each night you go home and vent to them about workplace politics, are they likely to divulge any of your darkest secrets after some Dutch courage?

4. Make a timely exit

Partying into the early hours of the morning can be great, when you’re with friends. Remember the age old sayings, ‘don’t mix business and pleasure’ and ‘nothing good happens after 2am’. Your boss doesn’t want to see you slugging back tequila shots, so it may be best to leave this to your private time.

Leave before 12.

5. How much should you drink?

A good drinking guide is to only consume the amount of someone who is driving.

6. Conversation

Keep personal conversations to a minimum. No one wants tears or drama, so ensure that you’re pleasant to everyone and make a concerted effort to engage in intelligent conversations.

7. Your appearance is key

Below are some details on how to keep your appearance in check, no one wants to see an inappropriately dressed colleague!

Your appearance:

Dressing appropriately for a work Christmas function is key to ensuring that you’ll be on your best behaviour.


1. Glam up, there is no shame in looking gorgeous at a work function, it’s classic and non-intrusive on the eye.

2. A hint of mint is the hottest trend for the summer season; ditch the traditional red and pink nail polish colours for this sweet and surprising hue.

3. Nothing is more glamorous than a Marilyn Monroe red lip. Choose a blue-based red and apply with a lip brush.

4. Skin should look and feel fresh, so avoid over-powdering and stick to a liquid foundation that makes your skin glow. Use a pink based cheek crème to go with this look to avoid making the skin look flat and lifeless.

5. Let your hair down… literally. It’s a great time to show people at work your more relaxed style.

Top image: Bunches and Bits {Karina}

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