The holidays are come and gone, but the memories linger. Are they good memories? I don’t mean yours. I mean for the people around you, particularly your colleagues. Cultivating your image doesn’t end after the first impression. You are always working. It doesn’t matter if you’re at lunch with your work BFF, at the boss’ house for the annual Christmas party, or at Happy Hour with your cubicle buddies, the real party doesn’t start until you leave. Too many careers have been ruined by Jose and Ciroc. Whether you know it or not, everything you say and do around your fellow employees is being monitored as if you are a personal threat to our nation. That innocent flirtation or off-color joke could literally mean the difference between your next promotion or layoff. It won’t be the stated reason, of course, but it will be the reason. It’s not your world–yet. Keep your attire and behavior professional at all times. It doesn’t matter what Emily and Lu Boo are planning to wear. Do you right and win at the game of office politics. (This philosophy also applies to potential in-laws, by the way.)
Just remember there are 168 hours in every week. Even if you work 68 of those hours, that leaves 100 hours to wear your sequined halter and glass slippers AFTER you get off. (And do not put those pictures on Myspace and FB.) So, if the office party starts at 8, arrive early and leave sober. Don’t give ’em nothing to talk about!