YPOV: Happy Hour Etiquette: How to Behave at After-Hours Functions


The end of the year is fast approaching, which means countless office holiday parties are just around the corner. Attending a work holiday party or happy hour can be a fun way to engage and network with coworkers in a relaxed setting. However, if you imbibe too much, it’s also a good way to torpedo your career. No matter how festive the atmosphere, remember that your actions affect your professional reputation.

You should view an office outing as an ideal opportunity for others to see another side of you — your social side. Use this to your advantage by getting to know distant coworkers, introducing yourself to your supervisor’s significant other (if he or she is in attendance), and making connections with your immediate team.

If you are a young professional, a social function can be a great forum to politely introduce yourself to upper management and get to know the more-seasoned engineers on staff. It may even help you find a mentor within your organization.

Attending a holiday party or happy hour does not require you to consume alcohol. Although many of your coworkers may be drinking, don’t skip an event just because you don’t drink — your absence will be noted. You can still generate lively discussion and enjoy yourself with a soda or water in-hand. If some of your colleagues get a little too tipsy and you feel uncomfortable, it is okay to...

Author Bios: 

Emily Frangenberg

EMILY FRANGENBERG is the Managing Editor of Chemical Engineering Progress (120 Wall St., 23rd Fl., New York, NY 10005; Email: emifr@aiche.org, Phone: (646) 495-1347). She edits CEP feature articles, which cover topics ranging from distillation and heat exchange to process control and safety, and is responsible for preparing the Catalyzing Commercialization, Journal Highlight, and Safety Minute columns for publication each month. She received a BS in chemical engineering from Villanova Univ.Read more

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