It’s that time of year. My LinkedIn feed is flooded with pictures of agency conferences that are taking place nationally as oppose to the alluring glitz and glam of Aussie. It’s a little bit of a downer but at least it’s less travel time plus, you’re not confronted with the startling reality of how beautiful the consultants in Sydney are. It’s got a real ‘prom’ feel to it, like a school dance but with unlimited alcohol and toilet stalls pushed to their capacity. Sure, you have to sit through a bit of chat about results from last year and plans for next but it’s a real good time. Only this week, I and some of the Hays alumni were reminiscing of times spent down The Rocks in Sydney; falling off benches in Germanic-themed boozers. It’s a knees-up disguised as a work trip but make no mistake, it’s a work trip. There’s still a code of conduct to abide by and consequences for those that colour a little too far out of the lines. I’ve scoured the internet and my own memory banks for the best/most relevant advice for consultants to take on board when out and about.
Kai is key
Although most soirées will provide nibbles it’s always a good idea to line the stomach before heading to a doo of any sort. You may have an internal dilemma of watching the waistline considering that you’ll be downing full-bodied bevy’s but trust me, better to be portly than unemployed. Also, water is your friend.
Cliff Young was a 61-year-old Australian potato farmer who won the Sydney to Melbourne ultra-marathon by 10 hours, in old work boots, with no formal training. Instead of breaking up the 875 kilometers with 6-hour sleeps like the rest of the ahtletes, he ran for 5 days and 15 hours straight at a pace of 4.5 mph. In conclusion; slow and steady wins the race and power naps aren’t a good idea.
I don’t care how honest everyone is being. In my experience 80% of chats that start with “when we first met, I thought you were a right arsehole” dissolve into pettiness especially when coupled with copious shots. It’s not the right time to tell anyone how you ‘really’ feel. Listen to the sober fella on the left shoulder and do your best to ignore the pissed-up devil on your right taking a leak down your back.
Chain of Command
There’s a real sense of comradery at these events. You also get a glimpse at the top of the totem pole which perhaps adds perspective. Seeing your boss’s boss brings into light the hierarchy and realization that Bob Dylan was right; we’ve all gotta serve somebody. That doesn’t mean that you and your superior are now at the same level, she/he is still very much in control of your destiny. It’s worth reminding yourself of this before getting overly familiar.
Gracious in Defeat
Some of these events may have an award show element. You may even think that you’re in line for an accolade or two. If for some reason you do get overlooked, those thoughts you have about it being a screw job? keep them to yourself. No one likes a bitter conspiracy theorist. Congratulate the winner and avoid using terms like corrupt, bias, or out of their fu*king minds.
Tim & Dawn / Jim & Pam
If you’re going to go for it, I’d suggest at least a 98% probability that your advances will be reciprocated. The above points haven’t been from personal experience. Shockingly, I’ve not been in contention for any awards, nor have I ever forgotten my place in the world. I have however shot my shot at a works doo. Word of warning, I’m entering into married bliss with my conquest next year. Not saying you have to make an honest woman/man of your office romance but it’s worth knowing it’s a possibility.
The reason for this aptly timed blog is that Rice Consulting is heading down to Queenstown this arvo for a bit of a jolly! This blog serves as less of a PSA and more of a gentle reminder to myself to not let the beersies get to my head. *repeats x 3 “Mustn’t stick the lips on Sean.”