The No. 1 Rule When It Comes To Going Out With Your Coworkers

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It starts with happy hour. You've worked hard all week and now you just need to let loose for one night. Forget about the office, and forget about your responsibilities.

This is good: work-life balance is healthy.  

But whatever you do, don't go overboard. Which is why I have a very specific rule: Never go to the third venue.

You go to the first venue mainly because it's a group event. It's always fun, you discuss work, maybe have a drink or two. Then someone says, "Hey let's go to the pub nearby and grab a beer."

Some people leave, but you don't want to. You want to mingle with your colleagues; you want them to know you're human. So you go to the second venue. You have a few more drinks and you're feeling good. You're having good conversation and maybe a colleague is giving you some great advice about your job. 

A few drinks later, someone suggests a third venue. You look at your watch. It's still early. What's a few more hours?

But by the time you make it to that third venue, the vibe has changed. It's no longer the "happy hour" crowd. It's now the "let's rage" crowd. 

At this moment — as a working adult — you need to make a choice. The moment your colleagues see you in a compromising position, they will view you differently. Or they won't. But is that a choice you want to make? Because at this point, there is no turning back. 

But if you've already made the mistake, it's time for damage control. You have two options:

1. Forget about the incident. Don't bring it up Monday morning. Go in early, work hard, and leave late. 

2. Discuss it. Make it brief, and move on. 

But the best option? Don't go to that third venue. 

NOW SEE: The 25 best companies to work for if you want to get promoted quickly > 

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