Happy Hour Rules to Remember
Happy hour is a rite of passage. You're not really part of the team until you've hung out with the gang at happy hour. Or at least, it feels like that way. If you're a seasoned pro, then you've got happy hour down to a science. However, if you're new, then you may be wondering how to navigate happy hour. Brush up on your social etiquette by learning just how to have the best happy hour ever.
Happy Hour Rules to Remember:
1. Show Up
It's important to build camaraderie with your coworkers, and happy hour is one of the best ways to do this! Not only are you socializing with your coworkers, but you're also showing team spirit by showing up for happy hour. Mind you -- you're not obligated to show up every time, but it's not going to hurt you to show up every now and then.
2. Be Friendly
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Sometimes, it's hard to put on a friendly face when you've had a long day at the office, and then, you show up for happy hour only to be trapped in the corner booth with Sally, who's complaining incessantly about her latest project. Relax. Take a deep breath, sip your drink, and smile politely. Let Sally rant for another minute, and then, just casually change the subject. Ask if she's seen the latest box office hit, or if she knows how to cook French cuisine. Keep happy hour light and friendly.
3. Pace Yourself
This isn't a Saturday night with your girlfriends at your favorite dive bar. It's happy hour with your coworkers. Don't get sloppy, and don't get drunk. Your coworkers are not your girlfriends, and you shouldn't mistake one for the other. After two drinks, call it a night. Don't let yourself have "just another drink" because "just another drink" might become six drinks with 2 tequila shooters. Then, before you know it, you're thinking that you're in Coyote Ugly, and you feel like dancing on table tops. Only, your girlfriends aren't there to keep you in check, and instead, your coworkers are. And they're going to remember this.
4. Don't Over-Share and Cross Boundaries
Since booze lowers inhibitions, it's easy to accidentally over-share and bond over tequila and your childhood love of boy bands. It's just as easy to give into office gossip and share the latest rumors at happy hour. Or what about crossing boundaries? Nick from Sales is being a little flirty, and he looks awfully cute with his tie loose and his shirt a little unbuttoned. No matter how good you're feeling at happy hour, you should still resist the urge to over-share and cross boundaries. Save yourself the embarrassment. Tomorrow, you'll be glad you didn't get handsy with Nick or spread nasty rumors about your boss with the gossip queen.
5. Plan Accordingly
Happy hour is an important part of building team camaraderie, but it's not worth sacrificing your professional or personal obligations for. If you need to finish a project that's due at 8AM in the morning, then you need to skip happy hour in order to take care of business. Or, if you need to go home to walk Baxter and feed him at 8pm, then keep happy hour short and sweet, and go your own way. You should enjoy happy hour, but never at the cost of your professional or personal commitments.
Happy hour is just that -- happy hour. Don't over-think it, and don't over-do it. When in doubt, keep it short and sweet just like your favorite cocktail.