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According to Wendy Komac, a workplace expert and author of I Work with Crabby Crappy People, the goal for having dinner with your boss should be about making a positive impression in an environment outside of the workplace. Most importantly, no matter how casual the party may feel, always remember that they are still your boss, she added.

Roshini Rajkumar career expert, executive communication and image coach said, first of all take it as a compliment you’ve been invited over to the boss’s house. “Know this could be a career-defining moment, not to put too much pressure on yourself… With that being said, be yourself,” she said. But at the same time you need to be an amplified version of yourself with the manners and etiquette of Emily Post, the wit of Aaron Sorkin and the style of Audrey Hepburn. Here are 10 things you should definitely not say when having dinner at your boss’s house plus some great advice from career experts.

#01. “Never, and I mean never find yourself in a situation where you have been “over served!” Alcohol intake should literally be limited to one drink, if any at all.”

Watch your alcohol; consider skipping pre-dinner cocktails and limit your intake during dinner. Abstain if you are driving. Nothing worse than losing your wits and embarrassing yourself or even just falling asleep, says Ginny Clarke, President and CEO of Talent Optimization Partners.

Conversing with superiors or making a positive impression on a client means you have to be totally alert and quick on your feet. Even one drink can impair your ability to be your company best. Use your best judgment and limit yourself to one drink, said Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in corporate etiquette training.

#02 The Date

If you are single should you bring a date? You should only bring a date if the invitation is extended. Most hosts will take great care in extending an invitation to you and your one guest, said Robin Caldwell, of The J Standard Media Group. Do not assume you can bring a date without first asking your host. If you do not have a date, then do not feel free to invite your best friend. Go alone.

If you are single, it’s best to bring someone whom you trust to be polite because their behavior will be a reflection on you. Bringing a date can be beneficial because it allows your boss to see a more personal side of you. However, it’s important for both you and your date to project a classy and respectable persona, said Ritika Trikha, of

David Couper, Career Coach, said you may even want to consider leaving your spouse at home. “If they don’t say bring a spouse, don’t. If they do and your spouse makes stupid jokes, is a loud liberal or complaining conservative don’t take him or her You are being judged just as much as if you are at work.

#03   Attire
Look professional but different from your normal work attire. Don’t wear anything too revealing but do look festive. This would be a good night for that fun accessory that showcases your style, but you can’t wear to work, said Rajkumar.

Caldwell says an invitation to the boss’s home for a dinner party is not an invitation to dress any less than tasteful. This is not a time to relax your professional appearance by any stretch. The impression you leave socially can affect you professionally. Dinner parties are, in general, formal. That said, if in doubt, remember less is more. A beautiful white or off-white evening blouse paired with a dark evening pant or skirt, and as little sparkle as possible in your accessories will work. Do not allow your attire to speak louder and draw attention away from you and your host(s). There is nothing worse than being visually distracting. Please do not wear anything revealing (nooo belly, butt or breast cleavage), tight or age inappropriate.

Do not wear even dressy jeans, unless the host insists on jeans (e.g., if it’s a barbeque, for example). It’s always best to be dressed more conservatively than more casually when it comes to work, in and outside of the office, said Lynn Taylor, CEO of Lynn Taylor


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