Alcohol cessation is a good idea, particularly when you consider the fact that problem drinking can have a negative impact on your professional life. Indeed, many problem drinkers are unaware of the effects of alcohol consumption has on both their professional image and performance. The truth is, however, that a bad drinking habit can often lead you to lose your job—or at least a demotion—at some point. To avoid such situations, it is important that you educate yourself about how alcohol can disrupt your opportunities for career advancement and security.
Alcohol Can Harm Your Professional Image
It is a good idea to consider alcohol cessation vis-à-vis workplace life. Using a common professional scenario we can illustrate this point: the staff holiday party. Imagine you are at a staff holiday party. There is food, music, maybe even dancing and of course, there is alcohol; wine, beer, cocktails—you name it. You are having a good time, enjoying the opportunity to socialize with your colleagues outside the seriousness of office affairs. You are not paying too much attention to how much you are drinking.
As the night wears on, you become increasingly inebriated and begin making off-color comments, slurring your speech and stumbling around in front of your boss. Moreover, that is just the tip of the iceberg—it could get even worse. Maybe you make a pass at a married colleague or start yelling at people for no good reason. Maybe you make an inappropriate Tweet or upload an embarrassing picture on Facebook. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: you just got very drunk in front of all the people you work with and you have damaged your professional image.
The problem with getting drunk at a professional gathering is that you present a side of yourself that says the following: I am irresponsible. I lack self-control. I am not serious. I am not respectful. Possessing the aforementioned qualities—especially in the eyes of your coworkers and superiors—is essential to your professional life. Nobody wants to hire, promote or work with someone they believe to be out of control, even if it was all in good fun. Alcohol cessation, then, is the only way that you can ensure that your professional image remains intact and untarnished.
A Drinking Problem Can Harm Your Professional Performance
You shouldn’t only consider quitting drinking on account of your professional image—you also need to consider it in terms of your professional performance. Even if you have an image problem, the workplace can be very forgiving if you are someone who produces and gets the job done well. The problem is that those with a drinking problem very rarely get the job done well, if they even get the job done at all.
For example, if you have a drinking problem, then you may show up to work late every day, skip out on work early, ignore projects, lie about your whereabouts or even get drunk while in the office. None of these behaviors will be tolerated for very long; they will quickly get you a one-way ticket to “Unemploymentville”, and that’s a place that you don’t want to vacation permanently, but you will if you can’t get your drinking under control.
High-Functioning Problem Drinkers
As discussed above, problem drinking can have disastrous consequences for your professional life—but the consequences and causes of problem drinking are not always so black and white. Many problem drinkers are high functioning; that is, they manage to maintain their professional image and productivity even as they drink too much. If you are a high-functioning problem drinker, then you are likely using alcohol as a coping mechanism—whether because your job is stressful or because you are having personal issues—thus you don’t go around making a fool of yourself in the office. In this circumstance, then, alcohol cessation may not be the only answer to your problem; you may simply need to re-direct your drinking practices and consider consuming alcohol in moderation so you can start addressing the underlying issues that have caused you to start drinking more frequently in the first place.
High-functioning problem drinkers aside, alcohol and your professional life, in general, don’t mix very well. If you want to avoid being fired or not being taken seriously, then you need to start taking alcohol cessation seriously. Contrary to what you may believe about yourself right now, you can learn to live your life without alcohol. As long as you have a will, there is a way—even when it comes to conquering your drinking problem.