It’s the close-of-business on Friday afternoon. A bunch of your teammates and supervisors are heading to the local bar for happy hour, and you’re invited. You tidy up your workspace, gather your belongings, and head out.
Technically, it’s your time. What happens outside the office isn’t officially part of your job, so it’s tempting to think that your behavior doesn’t matter.
That’s not the case. How you act, what you say and do, how much you drink – all of these things leave an impression. Whenever and wherever you interact with coworkers, remember this: Your job has set hours, but your career doesn’t.
Happy hour is just one example. Throughout your career, you’ll find yourself connecting with work-related people outside the office – at lunches, receptions, professional conferences, and so on. Every office has stories about coworkers who were let go or damaged their career prospects because they did something inappropriate in these settings.
To avoid their fate, consider these suggestions:
Drink in Moderation
At work-related events, consume alcohol in moderation. The risks that come with inebriation can derail your career. The more you drink, the more likely you’ll say or do something you can’t take back the next day. No one should pressure you to drink. If they are, here’s a tip: Order some tonic water with a lime or lemon wedge. It’ll look like you have a cocktail, and people will leave you alone.
Who Pays the Tab?
If you’re invited to a meal with coworkers, supervisors or clients, someone else is most likely picking up the tab. That’s not an excuse to order the most expensive items available. Rather, remember to focus on the purpose of the meal. Why are you there?
Know Company Policies
When it comes to offsite events or events that involve travel – such as conferences, workshops, sales calls – your organization almost surely has policies in place. Before you go, review those policies, so you’ll know what’s covered. If you’re not sure what’s expected of you, ask a supervisor or someone who’s been before. Traveling to conferences can be great for your job and career, but only if you remember that it’s not a vacation.
Practice Your Interactions at Revature
For many recent graduates, knowing how to act around coworkers is the toughest part of a new job. That’s why the training at Revature is holistic, with an emphasis on technical and soft skills. We prepare our recruits with a paid, 12-week training, where they learn and practice the skills necessary to thrive in enterprise-level environments. At the end of the training, we place them with one of our many clients. If you’re a career-oriented worker with an interest in the technology sector, the Revature Consulting Life might be right for you.