HAPPY HOUR COUNTS AS OVERTIME, RIGHT?

ETIQUETTE FOR OUTSIDE WORK EVENTS

career development

“Pro tip: Limit yourself to 1 drink.”

Settling into a new job or even a new position is hard. I usually give myself a three months grace period in training and absorbing all the new information. This is the time where I focus and put all my energy into making sure I am acquainted with all the computer systems, any new software, the team dynamics and how the company runs. This is a chance to get all the training done and set my work foundation to be successful in my new role long term. This is the norm for all new employees as many companies call this the probation period. But after you are settled into your new job, you start making friends. You are part of a lunch group or an email chain of funny memes to keep you laughing throughout the day. You then find yourself suddenly being invited to happy hour. No harm right?

An old friend of mine told me about a time when she got her first job in her early 20's. She absolutely loved her job and the people that worked there. She was adjusted and trusted everyone there, it felt like home. But it was a bit too close to comfort for her after a few months in when her first happy hour came. She was invited to a happy hour and since she felt comfortable with her coworkers, she had one too many drinks. I remember the horror on her face when she shared her embarrassing story with me. She was one of the youngest people in the company and so excited to be invited to a work happy hour she had too many champagnes, she blacked out! She started getting a little too comfortable around her coworkers and letting loose. Since she had no recollection of what happened at a certain point, she had to hear about it the next day. I remember feeling horrified for her! I would not even think of getting drunk with my coworkers! Imagine the horror she experienced going to work the next day and having your co-workers or even your boss remind you?

That story will always resonate in my mind whenever I advise a new college graduate starting their first job at a corporate environment. You get so excited you are finally working at your first office job, wearing a suit every day. You have your own desk, your own extension, and your official business card. And as time goes on, you work hard and people notice you. People start to invite you to lunch, dinners and to parties and of course a happy hour after work. There will be times where your boss wants to celebrate the team's success for reaching their quarterly sales goals early or maybe you have that yearly holiday party. Regardless of the occasion, you find yourself sipping martinis with your boss! How fancy!

Sometimes, the idea of being part of your inner work circle might just get you carried away. Even if you have a boss that is casual and likes to get loose, and is encouraging you to let loose, that person is still your boss. All companies and work environments vary from industry, region and the company culture. Some companies are a bit more casual and some are a suit and tie kind of a place. Regardless of whatever company culture you are in, always remember that these are the people you work with and these are the people that hired YOU. Not only do you represent them, but you also represent yourself. These are the people that you see every day and spend the most time with other than your family or your dog. These are the people that count on you for that sales lead, for replacing toner in the printer, or for making sure all data is entered on time. Make sure that these people can still count on you even after your first happy hour.

Pro tip: Limit yourself to 1 drink.

Now, don't let this scenario stop you from having fun with your coworkers and avoiding opportunities where you can build rapport with your colleagues. Be happy that you are officially part of the team and being invited to outside work events. But do not take this for granted. Even if happy hour does not count as overtime, embrace every work-related opportunity as a moment to build your career. Build rapport with your team professionally and personally but still be the best professional that you want to be. Get to know your coworkers and let them get to know you on a personal level. Use this opportunity for your boss and coworkers to know that you are more than a person with a brain, the person behind the computer or the phone. Let them get to know you as you continue to build your networking community. These are the people you work with on a daily basis and the people who can refer you to a promotion or a new opportunity. Keep that in mind. You do not want to wind up the next morning with your co-workers treating you differently all because of one too many drinks. Remember, as a new employee you must gain and earn the trust and respect of your boss and coworkers. Do not let one too many shots, delay your career goals as you climb up the corporate ladder. You have a lot going for you and an exciting career ahead. And remember, I am here cheering you on every step of the way.

Remember, have ONE drink. It's 5 o'clock. Cheers. You earned it.

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ABOUT YOUR MARKETING BARTENDER

Lucy Capul is the Creative Director of Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting. Lucy’s background in Hospitality Management concentrating in Special Events and Marketing has lead her to create a platform for start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to gain support and resources for their business. Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting was created to take away the work load of any working professional where they have the opportunity to have a professional virtually run their marketing behind the scenes, so they can have their drink and drink it too. Lucy’s experience in the corporate world has lead her to realize that the world glorifies the chaotic and busy lifestyle of a typical hard working professional. Lucy is an avid supporter of taking the time to “namaste” away from the work day and making time for friends, family and a little bit of whiskey, promoting a work-life balance. The Bar Babble blog was created to provide resources for like minded professionals to succeed in their professional and personal lives and also for students or anyone who wants to jump into the marketing world. Bar Babble is that time and place after a long day where you can be unapologetically unfiltered and babble about the highs, the lows, tips and tricks that no one talks about. Let’s get a little “whiskey”, and let’s Bar Babble.