“Party ’til you puke” is NOT a good career strategy.
It can be challenging, though, if you only equate drinking at social gatherings with getting drunk in order to have a good time. It should be obvious that losing control of your actions is going to have repercussions the following week when you are working with these people, but let’s go over the reason for office parties before I share this great way to control your alcohol intake.
The Purpose of Office Parties
Businesses will provide opportunities for coworkers to get together in a less-business setting because it’s good for morale. Everybody can relax a bit, the divisions between boss and worker are softened, and people will be more productive when there are some friendships going on. These are networking events, to be honest. This is the time you can talk to the CEO without an appointment, or discover a shared interest with your manager. It’s also a relaxed time to know you are appreciated, since most gatherings are hosted by the company.
But the business gathering is still a business gathering and unprofessional behavior will cost you big time since it affects the way you are perceived. You need to know your etiquette for office holiday parties, and a big part of that is not over drinking. How do you keep from drinking too much?
Choose A Drink That Isn’t Your Favorite
If you are delighted that your favorite cocktail is being served for free, the natural reaction is to get one! And another one! And more! Why? Because it’s your favorite drink and you will just suck it down lovingly and want more. This is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, save the favorite drinks for when you are with friends who don’t care what you act like when you drink.
Choosing a drink that isn’t your favorite means you will drink it slowly. You’ll also be reminded that this is a business function and you have more important things to do than drink.
Of course, I am not suggesting you choose a drink you hate, because then your facial expressions would distract everybody. Pick one you think is okay, just not your favorite. No grimaces, no gulps, just sips and conversation. You’ll have this office party thing down as a success.