A Gathering of Experts: Tips for Office Holiday Parties

When it comes to the holidays, one of the biggest social minefields can be the annual company holiday party. And a Gathering of Experts wants to help people avoid any common blunders that may make the season a little less merry and bright.

One of the most common mistakes employees can make is to complain about the venue, food or lack of an open bar. No one enjoys being around someone with a sour attitude, but it can be particularly bad if the employer overhears one of his or her employees running down the event–let alone the person who planned it. If an office party seems sub par it’s best to keep complaints to oneself and try to enjoy oneself anyway. Not everything is going to be perfect for everyone, but it’s always a good idea to be gracious – even if the feast is just a hot dog party on the roof.

Giving appropriate gifts at appropriate times is always a good idea. If someone is friendly with the employer, don’t give a personal gift in front of others at the office. It comes across as rude to other co-workers. And don’t give co-workers a “joke” present re-gifted from a crass brother-in-law. No one likes junk and very few people like off-color gifts as well. When in doubt just give co-workers a cheerful holiday card and try to stay away from any gifts that could offend.

When it comes to alcohol, less is more. A little self control usually means more dignity on Monday morning. The general rule of thumb is to avoid over indulging, because while it may seem hilarious at the time, drunkenly dancing isn’t going to do anyone’s career any favors.

Finally, remember that not everyone may be in the mood to celebrate at all. The holidays can be stressful, and forcing people to partake in an event can come across as overbearing. Simply wish co-workers a “Happy Holiday” and pay attention to social clues as to whether or not they want to take the conversation further.

The holidays can tricky, especially in an office. But by keeping these general rules in mind, the office party can be a much more harmonious occasion.

Bucket List Tips: Landing a Spot on a Reality Show

At one time, children dreamed of growing up to be movie stars and pop singers, but today the word ‘celebrity’ has much broader connotations. Twenty-somethings create audition tapes to land a spot on a reality show and find instant celebrity…at least until the next reality show airs and everyone forgets about it.

If your lifelong dream is to have a camera crew follow your every move, here are a few tips on getting that coveted spot on a reality show.

  • Think it through. Many people underestimate just how exposed they’ll feel. Not only will the cameras follow you, but your fellow show-mates will talk about you behind your back—with the results aired on national TV. The result can be humiliating, to say the least. Also, take a look at your life. Can you leave your job, family, and friends for several weeks to several months to do whatever show you’re contemplating?
  • Watch the show. You’ll have an edge if you do make it on the show by knowing how the show works. Carefully consider participating in a new show, keeping in mind that not all reality shows are “real.” You may get into a situation that’s scripted or, worse, heavily edited to make it appear as though things happened that didn’t.
  • Check the show’s website. Many reality shows have information on what it takes to get on the show. Some shows ask for video auditions, but these days, one of the best ways to get on a reality show is to attend a casting call. Keep in mind, these calls can attract thousands of people, so don’t feel overwhelmed when you get there.
  • Be unique. Before attending the audition, make sure you have a high-quality photo to present to the casting directors. While most reality shows feature their fair share of beautiful people, if you’ll watch the people that are usually chosen, you’ll notice there are usually unique qualities to each of them. Be yourself but present the side of yourself that makes you stand out from the thousands of other people.

Getting on a reality show is by no means easy, but if nothing else, showing up for the casting call will give you an interesting experience you can take with you.