So often this month we hear stories of friends and colleagues committing CLMs at their office holiday parties. If you're not familiar with the term, a CLM is a career-limiting-move. Here are a few examples incase you need a little clarification:
1. Too much to drink...speech starts to slur...you say something that you think is funny about Tom Cruise's religion. Oops. You didn't realize the person you were talking to is totally into L.Ron Hubbard too. The word "intolerant" is now burned in his brain whenever he sees you.
2. Too much to drink...judgement is impaired...you're feeling bold so you tell the guy beside you at the bar how handsome he is. Oops. That's your boss's new boyfriend and she's standing behind you. She's not going to be trusting you with the best assignments anytime soon.
3. Too much to drink...judgement is impaired...you actually cross a physical line with someone you work with even though you're not that into him. Oops. By Monday morning he's already told the rest of your colleagues you're soulmates. Now you're committed through at least two more months of respectable dating unless you want to become 'that girl who totally led him on at the holiday party'.
4. Too much to drink...judgement is impaired...you bust a move on the dance floor believing you're as good as Beyonce, when really you're much more like Elaine Benes in Seinfeld. Oops. Your entire team just lost all respect for you.
Notice the common thread in all those examples?..."too much to drink". That's usually where the problem starts. Simple fix #1? Cranberry juice and soda with a lime wedge. It looks like an alcoholic drink so no one will accuse you of not being in the "festive spirit", but you'll be cool as a levelheaded cucumber all night long. Simple fix #2? It's called water. If you don't think you can get through the office party without at least a drink or two, drink a tall, full glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage to at least reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and stay well-hydrated.
My other crucial tips for avoiding CLMs (and proof that they happened) are as follows:
A) Get dressed in front of a mirror that is honest enough to tell you if you're rocking too much cleavage or your dress is too tight. If you don't have such a mirror, then ask your best friend or your family. If your best friend or family are prone to lying just to spare your feelings, then simply opt for no cleavage at all and pretend you're going to dinner with your grandmother. Bottom line? No one ever got in trouble for showing up at a party looking "too classy".
B) Don't pose for pics that aren't being taken by a professional photographer. You know they're going to end up on facebook in five minutes and the dude taking them is going to choose the most embarrassing one for SURE.
C) Work the room. Don't spend too much time with any one person, and never ever ever behind closed doors. It's a party, yes, but it's a WORK party. Act like you're at work. Because in every way that matters, you ARE.