Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to a brand new work week! As the summer solstice is rapidly approaching, many companies and professional organizations are gearing up for their annual summer social events. If your company and/or profession is anything like mine, the summer social events calendar almost always includes one or more happy hour events. As I am sure many of you will agree, happy hour is awesome! It is a fun event that gives you an opportunity to network with other company employees or members of your profession in a light, casual atmosphere. And if it's sponsored by your company, it may present a chance to leave the office at a decent hour. What can go wrong?!
Plenty! We all have experienced or heard the horror stories of happy hours gone wild. I personally know of someone who lost his job because of shenanigans that occurred at a company-sponsored happy hour. I will spare you all the gory details...just know that your behavior at a corporate or professional happy hour is important.
So how do you ensure that you are not the subject of tomorrow's conversation at the coffee machine? You can check out my list of three simple things you should NOT do at a professional happy hour event. While there may be others, I believe these three tips are the most important. Check them out and fee free to add more in the Comments section below!
Do Not Overindulge
This tip is the most obvious and should go without saying, but I'm saying! A professional happy hour event is not the time to overindulge in the available happy juice. Yes you are at this event to have a good time, relax, and let loose with your colleagues, but you are still in a "professional" environments...at least you are in spirit. Getting sloppy drunk is not only raggedy, but it is a great way to kill your career. There are several ways in which you can play a professional social situation where alcohol is involves...here are a few suggestions:
1. Don't drink alcohol at all - This is my option of choice. I usually stick to a Diet Coke or a cranberry and orange juice mix.
2. Have one drink and babysit - Order one drink from the bar and make it last. If you find that you have finished your drink and you are still happy houring, order a non-alcoholic beverage to finish the evening.
3. Drink water after each drink - This option is only for the folks with a higher tolerance. Have one glass of water after each drink. And pace yourself!
Do Not Be Antisocial
Happy hour is a social event, so being antisocial is antisexy. Use this opportunity to socialize with your colleagues. Allow them to get to know you on a personal level. After all, why come to happy hour if you are going to keep to yourself.
Do Not Hang With the Usuals
Fan out! Get to know someone who you do not work closely with on a daily basis. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow them to get to know you. Either one works for me! Now, I'm not saying that you should completely ignore the people you are accustomed to seeing...just mix up your interactions so that you are socializing with different people. In sum, do not waste this opportunity to acquaint yourself with other members of your company or the professional organization. Don't forget to be an active listener when getting to know someone new. And don't forget your business cards!
Happy Happy Houring!