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December 01, 2002

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D.J. Burrough
Special for the Republic

Enjoy party, but be professional: Tomorrow, work!

The big day is almost upon us: Not Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, but the office holiday party. It's the one day of the year when you either can polish your image or, with jauntily worn lampshade, steer your career path toward the unemployment line.

"People do things they wouldn't normally do when they've been drinking," said Linda Baugh, president of American Career Executives, a Phoenix-based career management firm.

Set a low threshold of drinking for the evening, much less than you might imbibe with your close friends, or skip the drinking altogether, she says.

“You don't want it to appear like you're trying to buy affection or status on the job," Baugh said.

If you want to get the boss something, bring flowers to the party if it's at his or her house, or a gift that's business related.

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