After work drinks with your colleagues? Drinks with co-workers could turn into a career nightmare
"Let's hit the pub" or "I'm going to get a beer. Who's with me?" are lines that are common place in most office environments on Friday. After work drinks with colleagues sounds like the perfect example of workplace bonding. However it does not take a lot for a few drinks to turn into a big night out and later, into a professional nightmare. Think of these possibilities before you decide to head out for drinks with your co-workers.
1) You could say bad things about your boss
Alcohol makes you lose all your inhibitions and can even make you say things that you shouldn't be saying. A crucial mistake that many employees make is bad mouthing their bosses when they are drunk. If you dislike your boss, you could very well be letting out a no holds bar verbal vomit of abuses and swear words meant for your boss, after a few drinks.
And regardless of whether your boss is present at the point or not, it is most likely that specifics of your rant will reach him/her through the office grapevine. The next thing you know, your boss has fired you by using the pretext of a minuscule mistake to take revenge. And there are really no prizes for guessing that he/she won't give you a recommendation letter. And if your boss gives you a recommendation despite your rant, the least you could do is write a personalized thank you note to your boss and send a gift with it.
2) You could have a fling with a co-worker
There is a reason why alcohol is also called a social lubricant. Being drunk with your co-workers leaves a possibility of you spending the night with someone. The aftermath of a one night stand can be horrendous and it can be worse if the person you had the drunken fling with, turns out to be your colleague.
Remember, work is not college or school. Someone could see you in the act, people in the office could talk about you, the colleague could be married, you could be labeled as the office whore and even your character could be questioned. There are many things that can go wrong, but one thing is for sure, drunken sex with someone at work will leave you with a lot of complications to deal with later on.
3) You could do something embarrassing and become the laughingstock of the office
If you get drunk with your colleagues on Friday night, you could very well become the laughing stock of the office on Monday morning. Besides the cliché drunken roadblocks like puking on bar, throwing up on someone, falling over, finding yourself without a bra or exposing a bit too much skin, there are a zillion other things that can go wrong when you are drunk.
While all this may be passed off as friendly banter when you are having a good time with friends, remember, your work colleagues may use it against you in an office environment. Embarrassing drunken antics may drive your work mates to make perennial jokes about you. It may be entertaining for a few days, but afterwards it becomes a pain in the back side.
4) You could have a fall out with your co-workers
Drunken fights and alcohol fuelled arguments are nothing new. In fact, even the strongest of friendships and closest of relationships take a beating when misunderstandings happen after a few drinks. In day to day life, if you have a drunken argument with your friend, the worse that can happen is that the two of you will go your own ways and never speak again.
However if you were to have a drunken argument with a colleague at work, you could be sparking off a career downfall for yourself. That colleague could have better connections within the organization hierarchy and could have you demoted or even worse, fired at some point.
5) You could say something that you shouldn't be saying at all
Blurry speech and saying embarrassing things after a big night out is something that we have all done or seen. Too much of alcohol can make you say things that you wouldn't have said if you were sober. In day to day life, this could mean little things like revealing your friend's crush to everyone.
However when you are out having drinks with your colleagues, you could very well spill the beans on something confidential or blurt out the fact that your colleague is having an extra marital affair. Such revelations can be damaging to your current job and your future career as well. After all, don't we all remember how an Apple employee famously left behind a prototype of a latest iPhone model at the pub? Whether or not it was a marketing gimmick remains yet to be found out. But one thing is sure, you don't want to be in that guy's shoes, do you?
6) You could be labeled as an alcoholic or a drunkard
After work drinks with work mates to wind down every once in a while is the picture perfect story of a great workplace environment. After all, such informal bonding goes a long way in boosting employee morale. However if you think that you are having way too many drinking sessions and night outs with your co-workers, maybe it is time you put your foot on the brakes and slowed down.
It will take only one person to start a gossip about you when he/she says something like "He's at the pub every second day" or "She could get more work done if she spent more time in the office and less time at the bar" A tainted impression is the last thing you need, especially at your workplace. All it takes to smear a good reputation is the beginning of a nasty gossip. And you don't want to risk all the hard work you have put in, just because you were seen at the pub often, do you?