Truly Scary: Taking Halloween Too Far In The Office Can Damage Your Career

There really isn’t any other time of the year where we can adopt a totally new persona than Halloween.  This holiday can be fun, creative, and totally freeing for us to break from our traditional selves and adopt a whole new character for a day.  In general, Americans tend to revere this holiday and adore the opportunity to don costumes and other outfits we would never wear otherwise to the office.

But some people get into this a little too much. You know who these folks are… the ones that truly go all-out with detailed costumes and character play. It’s like all of a sudden, the office is full of Dr. Jekylls and Mr. Hydes.

While it is ok to have a little fun if the office has a policy allowing costume dress-ups, but you should also consider what you wear and how that might impact people’s perceptions of you.  Dressing as a busty nurse or beer frau is just as unflattering to your career as coming up with albeit clever yet divisive topical costumes that could be political or religious in nature.  It could come across offensive if you dress up like a national political figure and take the opportunity to ridicule them. One of your office mates could likely be an avid supporter and become highly offended.

Another big no-no is wearing a costume which would lead to non-professional character dialogue – i.e. men dressing as pirates and referring to women in the office as ‘wenches’ – not a smooth move.

So before you run to the costume store and plan out a lavish outfit, think practically first about what impacts, if any, there would be on your career by assuming this persona.

Your future could depend on it and your reputation is at stake.