Last night, I had a work function to go to. At said event, there was an open bar. Mind you, I was working. But I was also drinking because the bar was open.
The question is, “How much can you drink at an open bar when said bar is at a business function in which you are serving in a quasi-official capacity?” The answer is two fold. First of all, you know your limit (and if you don’t, don’t let a work event be the day you figure it out). Secondly, you know what a perceived alcoholic looks like in your given circle. You don’t want to be that person. So, even if you have a self-proclaimed “high tolerance,” going to the bar 4 times in an hour on the company’s dime is not a good look.
Over the three hour period, I could have “safely” had a drink and a half an hour and been fine to socialize. But, because I was at work, I had a drink an hour, just so that a cup remained in my hand while I was networking. And I had drinks that I liked because who wants to be sipping on Bulleit when you’re truly a Prosecco person (or vice versa in my case)?
Know your limit. Know how you will be perceived. And socialize comfortably. Or, if you don’t drink, at least get a tonic water and make it look like you are. It sets people at ease.
Make professional development a priority.