With a stronger emphasis on culture and employee satisfaction, companies often host events like happy hours or celebration parties to provide a venue for employees to blow off steam and build stronger relationships. If done correctly, these social settings can be extremely impactful in developing trust and camaraderie with colleagues that can offer long-lasting benefits to your career.
If your company or team is hosting an official or even unofficial event, it’s a good idea to attend – at least briefly. However, remember these events are still an extension of the work environment, and you should conduct yourself accordingly.
Keep the Slay Appropriate
If you’re headed to a happy hour after work this is less of a concern, but if your work has an event in the evening be mindful of your attire. Err on the side of being conservative even if the event is in a bar or lounge.
Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol
Alcohol makes everyone feel more relaxed, but remember you’re not out with your friends. It might be tempting to take advantage of all the free drinks, but never put yourself in a situation where you can be seen and talked about negatively. What you do outside of the office can directly affect how you are viewed at work. Limit your intake to one or two drinks, depending on your tolerance. Peer pressure can make it hard to refuse additional drinks. Head to the bar and grab a mocktail to bring less attention to the fact that you’ve stopped drinking.
Casual after office meetings often become a breeding ground for office gossip and rumors. Avoid these conversations at all cost. Also, don’t spill any personal information you normally wouldn’t want to be known by your colleagues. What happens at a work happy hour, never stays at a work happy hour. These conversations have a way of circulating back into the office and to other coworkers.
Take Your Boss’s Lead
If the happy hour or event is company-sponsored be conservative on your ordering choices. This has much to do with the company culture, but take the lead of the most senior person in attendance, they will most likely be covering the bill.
After the work event, always extend a thank you to the host. This is most likely your boss or the senior leader on your team. A follow-up email is a nice touch and gives a great impression.
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