We’ve all been there. That fateful invite hits your email and dread immediately washes over you… a work happy hour *gasp*. Now before that panic forces you to hit the decline button, we decided to offer some suggestions for handling everyone’s least favorite social gathering.
We’d like to think this goes without saying but it seems like the morning after every happy hour, someone who had to be driven home by a coworker the prior evening, is hurting more than the rest of the office the next day. While, there’s nothing wrong with a few drinks, just know your limit. Try to grab a water between drinks so you can keep up appropriately. Or if you don’t want to drink at all, ask for a soda or water with a lemon or lime if you’re concerned what other’s will think of your sobriety.
Set Yourself up for Success
If you’ve got somewhere to be or a big meeting in the morning to prepare for, make a plan to leave early. And stick with it. Likely there is someone else in a similar situation and perhaps riding over together will help hold you both accountable to that departure time.
The whole point of an office happy hour is to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere. Don’t be a wallflower, even if you are typically introverted take the time to get to know your coworkers. If opening up about yourself is challenging for you, instead take an active interest in your coworkers, asking them questions. It’s an easy way to show you’re engaged in getting to know someone without overly exerting yourself.
This is perhaps the biggest thing we hope you take away from this piece. If you’ve been invited, you should attend. You don’t have to drink, stay long or divulge your deepest secrets, you just have to show up and participate. We have no doubt you will be amazed by the relationships and opportunities that will come out of just attending.