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Do you need to drink alcohol to succeed in the corporate world? Watch

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    Like for the elite careers like law, finance, consulting, politics, do you feel that the odds are stacked against you if you don't go out with colleagues for drinks and schmooze superiors and clients by buying them a round of drinks at bars?
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    Depends very much on the workplace, but yes - in some, not socialising with your colleagues is probably going to have some degree of reputational risk.

    It's not remotely about buying drinks, incidentally.
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    I think you've been watching a little too much Mad Men.
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    You don't have to drink but you have to be comfortable being in situations in which there are drinks. There's a manager in my team who is a tea total vegetarian which hasn't held him back because he makes the effort to attend events and stay up late on away days. Likewise there are people in my time who do drink but don't socialise or if they do its very forced and that has held them back.
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    (Original post by akbar0123)
    Like for the elite careers like law, finance, consulting, politics, do you feel that the odds are stacked against you if you don't go out with colleagues for drinks and schmooze superiors and clients by buying them a round of drinks at bars?
    Why is this an issue?
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    Definitely in Commercial Law. Whenever I have attended networking events, there is always plenty of alcohol. I rarely drink but at these events I will, purely out of pressure and social expectations. Certainly during my recent internship at a City firm, there was an expectation to drink a lot and socialise.

    Other than that, I have heard about schoomzing with clients and those higherup. This will typically involve alcohol and not going to these events can hinder ones progression prospects.
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    (Original post by JohnGreek)
    Why is this an issue?
    I guess that Akbar is a Muslim (?) and is concerned that he might be disadvantaged professionally by not being able to join in with the drinking.
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    I'm afraid that's been my experience, yes. I kind of convinced myself that I could party hard at uni because people didn't really drink too crazily once they started their professional life. You may say that was extremely naive of me but I come from a family of cleaners/carers and waste disposal men and had met very few professionals. So to my surprise I found out at my graduate job the drinking culture of professionals was in some ways more crazy than uni.

    It was not uncommon for the team to drink on Wednesdays til 3/4 am and then come in bleary eyed and hungover the next day. And yes relationships and opportunities are borne from these events. It's not a coincidence that those who got ahead were those who drank until dawn with the COO/Director the most. Sometimes this caused incredible frustration in me as they weren't even that great as workers yet getting ahead. However, there were some times where it worked heavily in my favour too (getting access to senior team members who are rarely seen in the office and being offered projects at the pub I would not have dared ask for if sober). The pressure was certainly on to attend as many work drink events as possible.

    And if you don't drink? You were slightly looked down upon and sneered at, yes. There was a guy who insisted on rushing home every evening and did not ever come to the pub or any work events. He didn't really progress, his contract was not renewed and unfortunately he was sometimes the but of pub jokes. I don’t think that’s very fair but it is what it is.

    This is just my twopence though, others may have had very different experiences. But I would say alcohol/after works drinks etc. are very important.
 
 
 
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