Guest List

At some point in your professional career, you’ll be putting together a party, get together or other named event. It might be a BBQ or a soiree. As previously addressed in Treating Others Fairly, you have the option of inviting the whole department or office or keeping things very quiet to be fair. As in, no one else in the department or office knows or will hear about the party.

That means you can’t invite five out of the six people in accounting, but you can invite five out of the 60 people in the office.

Some general guidelines:

  • Don’t work on party plans in the office.
  • Don’t email the invitation to a work email address or work address.
  • Keep the party talk out of the office (even the recap!).
  • Don’t lie. If someone asks you about it, see below for how to respond.
  • Make sure the people invited know to be discrete because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Tell the invited guests that you had to keep the list small.

Hopefully the people you are inviting are more than just office friends and they will understand.

If you’re lucky no one else will find out, but be prepared to answer those questions. Author and Real Simple etiquette expert, Michelle Slatalla, suggests blaming the venue or budget for keeping the number of invitees to a minimum should anyone inquire.

How have you handled office party invitations?

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