The invitations are out. The trimmings are up, and workers everywhere are starting to sweat. It's beginning to look a lot like the annual holiday party.
"Especially for more junior people, the office holiday party is a rare opportunity to be in a room with immediate supervisors and the big boss," says Christine Jahnke, author of The Well-Spoken Woman and a speech coach who's worked with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. "You can leverage it, or you can really blow it."
Experts agree that workplace bashes are ideal for raising your visibility and getting on the radar of company influencers. But climbers beware: If mishandled, the spotlight can burn. According to a survey conducted by human resources firm Adecco last year, 40% of workers have witnessed or committed a holiday-party indiscretion, which caused a shocking 14% to lose their jobs.