We’re nowhere near holiday season but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a company picnic or drinks after work. Meeting your partner’s coworkers can be more nerve-wracking because a bad first impression can negatively impact his career trajectory. (Don’t think that we’re beyond that – we’re not).
- Get the low-down on the company culture from your partner. Are they conservative? (You’ll need to cover up those tattoos) Are they laid-back? (Your orange pants will be fine.) Is there a strict division between the workers and upper management? Ask him how he wants his coworkers handled.
- Have him review your outfit ahead of time so you can change it if needed. On the day of the event, if he says something about your hair and makeup – just change it. This isn’t about you asserting your independence, this is about his career.
- Mind your p’s and q’s. Take a night off from your vices (smoking, swearing) and drink sparingly. Don’t over-share. Be polite to everyone, especially in the ladies room.
- If he does something that rankles you – this is not the moment to discuss it. Put a pin in it and address it after the event.
- Keep your chit-chat bland and inoffensive. Say nothing remotely controversial (avoid religion, politics, or strong positions on any topic).
- Be charming. Ask lots of questions, remember names (and use them!), tell inoffensive jokes and stories.
- Make your partner look good! This event is about him, not you. Yes, it’s a little irritating to be demure arm candy but sometimes a shrewd woman is exactly that.