To drink, or not to drink; that is the question.
College teaches students the ins and outs of preparing for the real world. Accounting majors learn to interpret balance sheets while art majors learn which coffee store they want to work at after graduating with a pointless degree. What they don’t teach is how to make a positive social impact with your coworkers at company events.
The first guideline for attending company parties starts with a solid date. Dates can be a big asset or an even bigger liability. For example, your significant other can talk the night away with you coworkers and make a great impression or become incredibly drunk and start a fight. You would be surprised how many people behave themselves while their date single handedly ruins everything. Keep in mind their actions will directly reflect on you.
After selecting a party companion, it is helpful to have a conversation about how much you plan on drinking. An open bar is not an invitation to revert back to Freshman year in college. Limiting the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume will prevent overconsumption. Be sure this includes room for a spontaneous drink. Many times, someone who is higher up in the business will want you to drink with them. If you account for this type of scenario, the drink shouldn’t set you over the edge.
Use the company culture as a general indication of how much alcohol is acceptable to drink. There is a big difference between the culture at Goldman Sachs and North Bottom Brewing Company.
How you hold the drink is also important. Hold the drink in your left hand so your right is free to greet others. The last thing people want is to shake a wet and cold hand. This may take time to adjust if you are right handed.
Shots are off limits at company events. Throwing back some Jager bombs and Fireball on a Saturday night with the crew is always fun, however, not when your boss is watching. This practically screams “I’m not upper management material” to employers.
Lastly, if you have failed miserably in every aspect of this guide and are extremely drunk, do not drive home drunk. You can still salvage some of your credibility by calling and Uber or Lyft.