The Dos and Don’ts to avoid Faux Pas at your Year End Function…

It’s that time of the year again when employers show their gratitude to their employees by either taking them to a nice dinner and drinks, throw a huge party or even take the whole office on a weekend get away!! However, whatever the setting of your year-end function is, the rule is simple: DO NOT OVER DO IT!! “IT” is anything that is related to the party/function. Yes, this is the time to let your hair down and be merry, but you still want to have the respect of your colleagues and most of all, your job on the other side of the party! Inspired by the year-end function-cum-awards ceremony I attended this weekend I put together a list of “dos and don’ts” at these functions.


It’s important that you attend the function even if you just show face for an hour or so and leave after the dinner and formalities. Not attending, will make you come across as if you are not grateful for the efforts your employers made by organising the party/function. You also risk being viewed as anti-social and not a team –player.


Honey, this is a party, a time for fun, great conversations and good laughs! The rule is simple if your “story” about work is not entertaining or funny, leave it for Monday!! 


Well these topics should generally be avoided by colleagues even during office hours or just plain tabooed! I know some companies have them as such on their code of conduct! This is because people always get “touchy” when their religion or political party is brought up, the argument will be lengthy and leave a bad taste on people’s mouths. So, it’s best to avoid these topics especially on an occasion like a year-end function!


Keeping “shop talk” to the minimum and not talking politics or religion does not leave you with much to talk about especially with colleagues, that then puts you at the risk of oversharing!! Please remember the rule! Do not over do it! That also means what you can share with your colleagues. No matter how friendly you are with your colleagues, they are still your colleagues not BFFs, so be professional do not share personal information you would not share on a normal working day! Also give people a chance to speak, there is nothing as annoying as a person who wants to be listened to but does not want to listen to anyone.


Most year-end functions have a theme or dress code that needs to be adhered to. You don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb by being the only one in jeans and sneakers at a black-tie event. Plus, it’s not a good look on you as a professional, colleagues who do not work with you closely, especially those in senior positions might wonder how well you do with instruction if you can’t stick to a mere theme. That might work against you should you need their vote for a promotion etc.



There is a thin line between being sexy and skimpy find the line and stay on the right side of it! Unfortunately, in the corporate world and the world in general women are still judged by the way they dress and carry themselves!! Unless you are in the entertainment industry leave that “Beyonce evening gown” you have been eying, for a night out with the girls. At your year-end function, even if the theme is “glam or glitz and glam” showing too much skin will work to your disadvantage! The aim is to be sexy not sleazy! This also applies if the theme is casual, you should not dress too casually, leave your “bum shorts” and crop tops for a picnic with the family and friends, for this theme you want to dress smart casual. Gents please leave your Bucket hats and torn Tees at home.


This could mean a lot of things, but here are a few which comes to mind…

Do not be the one who is sitting alone in the corner on the phone texting and posting on social media. Though taking pictures can be fun and good for memory keeping, there is a limit, and that limit is not to distract others by asking them to pose for or take photos of you while they are enjoying the festivities! Also, please DO NOT RECORD people without their permission no matter how funny you think what they are doing is or their dance moves are, this is rude and should be illegal!

Be part of the activities; join in on the games and conversations. Even if you don’t know much about the subject, show interest by asking questions is better than just sitting there looking bored! Try to get to know people outside your department, make conversation without being too inquisitive, avoid using the party as an opportunity to complain, spread, rumours and gossip, people are there to have fun not for your negativity!




The year-end function is your chance to show off your other skills which do not have to do with work! This too can make or break you!! LOL Remember the rule, DO NOT OVER DO IT. Honestly ladies… and gents it’s better to do a “Two-step” at the office party than to “twerk or do any other sexy dance moves” that might leave everyone in the room cringing! If you know that you are the type that feels frisky after a few drinks, rather not dance at all or leave when the party gets too heated for you. Rather have your friends join you at a club where your dance moves will be much more appreciated and won’t make you the talk of the office for the rest of the New Year! With the latest dance craze to hit SA, ladies please be sure not to wear a dress if you plan to “idibala” at your function! LOL



Year-end functions are notorious for free alcohol! In-fact that is the only reason some people still attend, take out the booze and that will be the end of these functions! With that being said, we all know our threshold where alcohol is concerned, if you do not know yours you better learn it fast before you embarrass yourself at the party! 

No matter how much you feel you are not compensated enough for your hard work. This is not the time to “pay yourself” with free booze LOL! and year-end functions are not the time to experiment with alcohol, it’s best to stick to what you know, you do not want your nickname to be “puky” on Monday! Drinking moderately will have you enjoying the party without the risk of embarrassing yourself, Oh and please DO NOT TAKE alcohol home unless you are allowed…


After all, that is what these functions are for! So, let loose enjoy the party, dance until your feet hurt…



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