Coming out of college, many believe they have to abandon their wild past and join the workforce as responsible employees. They’re often surprised to find that there are just as many crazy young professionals, but with one important difference – they have the disposable income to do it right. For those of you working in sales or P.R., a little reckless socializing might come with the job. But for the rest of us, it can be a challenge to find the right balance between having a good time and keeping your job. Anyone can go crazy on the weekend, but it takes some skill to stay out until 4 am on a random Wednesday and do anything useful the next morning. There’s nothing worse than having every other person ask, “Late one last night?” So how can you truly work and play hard?
Stay Past Five
A few companies have introduced flex time as a way of adjusting the work day to their employee’s lifestyles. But even if you’re not technically allowed to come in later in the morning, getting work done at night may let you veg the next day until your head clears. You might, of course, have the kind of job where you’re already expected to stay late every night; you have our sympathy.
In this situation, the only thing to watch out for is that feeling that your life has been reduced to enjoying your countless vices and making the money you need to finance your countless vices.
Watch the Fighting
If you know you’re that kind of drunk, keep your ego in-check on the weeknights. Nothing gives you away like a nice black-eye or a two inch scratch on your face. If your coworkers know you at all, they’re not going to believe whatever colourful excuse you come up with, either. Other trophies to watch out for are semi-permanent hand stamps and anything your friends can do to you with a hair trimmer while you’re passed out.
In the Cup, Please
You might want to find out if your company is going to surprise you with a drug test before you head off for two weeks in Amsterdam. If this is a problem for you, you can either find a new job, a new hobby, or trust your future to the hundreds of techniques and products pitched online that claim to fool these tests.
Consider the opportunity that is happy hour. If you’re in the bag by seven, you still have time to get home (don’t drive, smart one) and get a full night’s sleep before your important meeting the next day. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t work so well if you’ve got anyone waiting for you at home – you’ve been warned! So get your friends together and find a local yuppy hangout for a little networking at the end of the day.
Take it easy, Skippy
It’s hard to believe, but you don’t have to get completely wrecked every time you head out with your friends. If you make your night more about the people and less about the chemicals, you might find that you can still have a good time without a world of pain the next day.
I think I need a Nap
Nothing can improve how you feel during the day like a bit of sleep – even if it’s short. Falling asleep at your desk, however, is definitely not recommended. Life is all too often about image and this is a quick way to sabotage yours at work. Try taking your lunch out to the car and passing out there for a while.
Hit the Gym
People often claim that they need less sleep when they include some exercise in their life. The better shape you’re in, the more easily your body can recover from your abuse of it. This might also help with those extra pounds you’ve put on from all the drinking.
The final thing to remember is to watch how much partying you do with your actual coworkers. While getting to know your colleagues outside of work is not a bad thing, it really doesn’t take much to build a reputation. The dark circles under your bloodshot eyes may be enough for people at the office to speculate about how your night went, but being there to actually witness (and possibly photograph) your antics is completely different. While most would agree that this scene gets a little tired (and eventually just sad), it’s still a way of life for many young workers. If you can find the right balance, you’ll build your career without missing out on five perfectly good nights each week.