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PHOENIX -- ‘Tis the season for holiday parties and that often means socializing with co-workers away from the office.

Don't let the change in scenery fool you, said Ryan Naylor, founder of LocalWork.com.

"Understand the office party is just an extension of the business day," he said. "Be sure to dress up to standards."

Most of us know it's not a good idea to talk politics, religion or anything too personal at the office party, but Naylor said he often gets asked whether drinking alcohol is okay.

"This is a personal decision and we recommend that you make the decision before you even go to the party. Make sure you limit yourself and take cues from some of your higher-ups. When you're planning, make sure you bring cash if it's a cash bar. Make sure you don't have that awkward moment when you suddenly realize you don't have cash."

Naylor said office parties are an easy opportunity to network with people you work with every day and those you rarely or never see in other departments.

"Come with a series of questions to ask your colleagues. ‘What kind of hobbies do you enjoy? What are some activities you like to do on weekends?' And find similarities that you can draw from."

If you're bringing a guest, be sure to introduce and include them in conversations and reach out to your colleagues' guests.

The biggest tip Naylor offered this year is to put away your phone and focus on faces.

For more tips, go to LocalWork.com.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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