Welcome back, everyone! As of this Monday, we are fully immersed in our first full work week in December; as many of you have already felt, December is often lined with corporate events and expectations of attendance. Whether this looks like client entertainment, professional organization events, or an internal company party, the holidays bring the time to celebrate this year’s performance! If you are attending any one of these types of events over the next few weeks, this article is for you. Keep reading here to re-engage with our annual reminder of how to approach drinking and meet behavior expectations at all corporate parties. Doing so will not only ensure that you avoid ‘work scaries’, but will immensely elongate and strengthen your corporate reputation.
Behavior in Work ‘Drinking’ or Party Settings:
The main focus of the below is guidance surrounding drinking behaviors in work environments. You may not be sitting in the office, but remember that you are still surrounded by coworkers and leadership, and should behave as if you were in a corporate setting. The key to these types of events is engaging with your limitations while still having fun! So, identify your balance below and ensure that you won’t have to ever wake up with ‘scaries’ about the night before.
- Mandatory? The begging question is, are these events mandatory?! The short answer is yes, and the long answer is no. Realistically, you cannot be forced to attend an event that occurs outside of your work obligations and hours. However, when able, you should always prioritize engagement and participation in celebratory events. These are special times, outside of work hours, when you are afforded the opportunity to get to know teammates, management, and external clients on a personal level and establish longevity in meaningful friendships. So, when able, always try to go! And if something comes up, always make sure to inform management ahead of time to set expectations and create reliability.
- Typical Duration/Length: You can expect to spend, on average, approximately 2-3 hours at work happy hours or after-hours corporate events. It takes at least 30 minutes to get situated in a new space, especially if you are leaving the office and venturing into a new environment. The next hour and so after is often unstructured and casual. So, if you’re engaging with a teammate or enjoying yourself, stay for longer! If you have plans after, are tired, or are struggling to maintain your social battery, make sure to stay for an appropriate amount of time, and then understand that you can leave. After all, you are dedicating additional hours to ‘work’ even if it doesn’t feel like it, and leadership understands that everyone has personal obligations to get back to afterward.
- Pairing Drinks with Food and Water! We’re all adults here, but it’s always worth reminding each of you that mixing a cocktail with an app and a glass of water is key to offsetting the effects of alcohol. You never want to find yourself in a situation where you are overly intoxicated around work or professional peers, so balancing alcohol is crucial to your engagement and self-awareness at happy hours and events. If there isn’t going to be food at the event, make sure to pack a snack or eat a larger lunch. Additionally, while there is almost always water wherever you’ll be, packing an extra bottle never hurts! A 1:1 ratio of a drink and either a snack or glass of water is a great way to create balance and hold yourself accountable.
- Steer Clear of Shots! On the same note, we highly encourage you to steer clear of shots and even ‘hard liquor’ when able. These types of drinks will undoubtedly have a more rapid and intense effect on your awareness and alcohol levels, so be super mindful of ingesting these types of drinks as well as the effect they have on you specifically. When able, we suggest you opt for a ‘Welcome’ glass of champagne or stick to wine/beer throughout the night instead. Especially as events span several hours, the comfort of holding a lighter drink in hand while sustaining an appropriate level of intoxication is easier to accomplish without hard alcohol in hand.
- Positive Chat Only! Finally, we know that ‘loose’ feeling that comes with a few drinks. However, we encourage you to avoid ANY gossiping with coworkers, friends in the industry, and especially management! Remember that you are held to what you say and how you behave in and outside of the office, so ensuring that there are only ever positive things that people have to say about you will pay off in the long run as it relates to your professional reputation. So, even if you are pulled for a chat and to share the ‘tea’, zip those lips!
Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!