So you have just started to get acclimated at your firm when you get a calendar invite for the company happy hour. Naturally you think, “free booze?, yes please!” Here are a few things to consider before you R.S.V.P for that happy hour.
- To Go or Not to Go?
So if you are contemplating whether or not to go, definitely go if your schedule permits. This is the perfect opportunity to network outside of the office and get to know your colleagues better. Professionals tend to behave very differently when they are not working to meet deadlines. You may find that the partner doesn’t hate you after all. If you are not a drinker, that does not disqualify you. Throw back a couple of soda waters with lime while you chat it up with the partners and build that rapport. Ultimately, your superiors want to know that you can thrive in different settings and this is your chance to sharpen those soft skills.
2. Pace Yourself
Be careful to note the speed at which your peers are drinking and try not to pass them. This is not about getting drunk on the company’s dime, or drunk at all for that matter. While it is okay to have a few drinks, do so bearing in mind your personal limit. If you know that three drinks put you in a mood that yields obscenities and profuse sweating, then set your limit at one drink. Just because Audit Adam is taking back shots of Fireball left and right does not mean you should do the same to impress him. Do remember that anything that you say or do at the happy hour can and will be used against you during your evaluation, so be careful.
3. Work It, Don’t Twerk It
So you are now two martinis deep into the happy hour, networking with colleagues when you hear, “Cash Money Records takin’ over for the 99 and 2000s”, the opening line to your favorite hip-hop record. You have two options here so play close attention. You can give in to temptation and indeed “back that thang up” as the song instructs. Your second option is to fight the urge and instead maintain a safe two-step dance move. I understand it is difficult to not perform every eight count when Beyonce’s Single Ladies comes on, however you must understand that you are still at work. Even though it is after hours and the setting is informal you must maintain some level of professionalism. This is not to say that dancing is forbidden, but do find a non-threatening shoulder bounce to keep at your disposal and draw the line there. Just remember, you will be evaluated on your work and not your twerk so keep it clean.