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The Downside of Merrymaking

In many organizations worldwide, the next two days will be party time. But various sources say the holiday office party can be hazardous to your career health, particularly if the punch is tasty.

"You can take advantage of the office party to have some fun and advance your career or misbehave and cripple your career," writes Randall Hansen, founder of online job site Quintessential Careers, in recent blog. Among the "do's and don'ts" he cites: "Do keep your hands to yourself. Dont flirt, and do avoid any other inappropriate behavior. The office party is not the time to end your career with the company by doing something inappropriate or illegal."

TheLadders.com , a subscription-based online job bank, says recent surveys turned up the following info about the "most common holiday party faux pas" from executive respondents: "Drinking too much alcohol is the number one mistake, according to 79% of executives; flirting with co-workers ranks second with 53% of the vote; followed by dirty dancing (42%) and inappropriate outfits (41%)."

In a prepared statement, Lori Erickson, VP of human resources for Monster (parent of Monster.com) had this to say: "Employees should have fun, but remain cognizant of the fact that these events provide a great opportunity to casually network with colleagues, people in other departments, and even executives. And, of course, getting drunk and making a spectacle of yourself can haunt you long after the holidays are over."

So there you have it: Keep it clean, keep it legal, and keep a lid on it. Have fun!