The No. 1 Reason You Should ALWAYS Drink at Office Parties

Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT is celebrating with classic holiday posts from the past. Look for them through Christmas Eve.

My dear friend Tim Sackett believes that it’s risky to drink at office functions.

You might say something stupid. You might look foolish. You might put your job on the line. And those things are all true if you’re a functional idiot. If you can’t cross the street without holding your mama’s hand, you shouldn’t have a drink at office parties.

If you are like the rest of the world, though, having a drink or two at an office party isn’t a big deal. If anything, it can be a lifesaver.

Here are some reasons why drinking can help your job.

  1. When you have a drink, you look like a team player.We like to work with people who share common values, common beliefs, and common preferences. A beer is a simple way to show your colleagues that you enjoy their company and that you’re part of the team.
  2. Drinking enforces trust. When you have a glass of wine in your hand, you are forging a simple bond with fellow employees: you trust them not to rat you out if you have one too many. The other side of the coin? You have to uphold that promise and ‘have their backs’ if they can’t hold their liquor.
  3. Drinking displays confidence in your judgment. You know who drinks too much and worries about it? Sorority girls named Katie. “Oh my god, do you think Jacob noticed how drunk I was?” Yes, he noticed. That vomit on your shirt was a telltale sign. Show a little maturity and have a sip of wine without looking like an immature schoolgirl.

There’s one more reason to drink at work-related events: because it makes the whole thing more tolerable. White Elephant holiday gift exchanges? Office baby showers? Award ceremonies? Put a bullet in me.

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I’m not advocating for full-blown alcoholism, but mature adults are hired for their critical thinking skills, their ability to accomplish tasks, and because they can get the job done. Grownups can appreciate a lovely cocktail without barfing on the boss.

That’s the fun of being an adult.

And if you do barf on the boss, I have one piece of advice for you: lie through your teeth and say it was food poisoning.

Not that I’ve ever done that. Nope. Not at all.

Laurie Ruettimann is a former human resources leader turned writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is also author of Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career.

CNN has recognized Laurie as one of the top five career advisors in the United States, and her work has been featured on NPR, The New YorkerUSA TodayThe Wall Street Journal, and Vox. Laurie frequently delivers keynote speeches at business and management events around the world and hosts the popular podcast Punk Rock HR. She lives with her husband and cats in Raleigh, N.C.