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Drinking Can Enhance Your Social Capital

Have You Noticed That Drinkers Earn More?

A study conducted by a couple of economists found that people who drink in a social setting earn 10 to 14 percent more than those who save their drinking for home. More specifically, female drinkers earned 14 percent more than non-drinkers and male drinkers earned 10 percent more. The study contends that drinking can enhance "social capital, which entails everything from a person's charisma to the size of their social network," which may result in closer work relationships and more business contacts. Have you noticed this to be true in your own experience — does the happy hour crowd earn more or have more opportunities?


brainstewerz brainstewerz 9 years
It's definitely the going out and socializing part that makes people more successful and higher earners. The drinking is just incidental.
ChristinaMUFE ChristinaMUFE 9 years
I think it's definitely essential to moving up, at least in my industry. Working in the beauty industry, there are always photographers and models wanting to go out after shoots, vendors wanting to relax after stressful days, all kinds of different scenarios. When you go out with people in your field, you're much more likely to hear of things before they're announced publicly and people are a lot more likely to remember you if they know you socially as well as in the workplace. I think employers want to know they have good networkers on their team. I've met so many people in my field just by going out even.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 9 years
Remember the old Friends episode where Rachel felt out of place at the company she was working at, because she did not smoke? All the social chit chat that occured on those smoke breaks was part of their networking and theoretically where some deals and decisions were made. No doubt it would work the opposite way if the boss was a non-smoker...but I think the drinking thing is indicative of both the idea that social "after work" drinkers of the white collar persuasion probably use it as both a networking mechanism as well as it being a common after work practise for traditionally high-paying white collar jobs in the city. Of course I could turn this around and say that a lot of people who "go for a pint" in the UK are not the top earners, at least in Scotland it was definitively a mix of people at all ranges of economic status. Which makes me demographics (Country, state, and city) would affect a poll taken on this very subject. My bet is that it would.
Arias101 Arias101 9 years
i think it has to do with social situations, like someone who networks more is more likely to move up. They've also proved that alcoholics usually have higher IQs, it has to do with stress though.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Well I drink like a fish and I'm flat broke so I guess you could say that I havent noticed this. :OY:
tlight tlight 9 years
I think that in any work-social setting, its important to be there, be seen taking part, and get your name known. I don't think its the fact that people consume alcohol, but the fact that the happy-hour crew is getting together regularly means that they are at the fore-front of thier peers' minds when projects and promotions come up. At my office, its being at the group lunches.
italianblonde italianblonde 9 years
Yes, drinking can make almost anyone bond, which in turn can help your networking!
BeautiJunki BeautiJunki 9 years
it's just being able to be socialized with coworkers plus it when people really dish and you find out about what's coming down the pipeline. Now you must be able to know your limit because it can be a slippery slope. But letting your hair down doesn't me letting your panties down. :) I've been to Raiders and A's games, fancy dinners, to dives where deals are get to network with others in your field and in this economy you need all the friends you can handle. I want to take up golf just for the networking.
yodette yodette 9 years
What a ridiculous statement. Who are the "economists", who did they study; number of people, where in the country, what age, was this a blind study, did they have a control group, how long was the study, where are the results printed...
jenikat jenikat 9 years
It's pretty logical to me. I think social drinking can easily be considered a small luxury. People who make more and also have a tendency to drink are likely to spend some of their money on it.
sair05 sair05 9 years
I definately think it's the other way around and people who earn more drink more. I think the top earners are in high pressure, high stress jobs and therefore drink more to relax. Also, in the top earning jobs, it is commonplace for business associates to go out for dinner and have a drink or two while discussing business. There are just more opportunities to drink.
ndsquirrel3 ndsquirrel3 9 years
I'd be curious to see if the study followed people that just attended the happy hour vs. those that actually had a drink. I've been telling my coworkers that they have to interact socially to be well-known, but you never HAVE to have an alcoholic beverage.
tulipsaki tulipsaki 9 years
i agree with looseseal. Besides, one can go to happy hours and be teetotal. It's the socializing that counts. and if that puts people off, then maybe one's not in the best environment?
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
LOL! Yeah, no doubt! I think it all can go any direction really. Good point though. :)
Astro_nerd Astro_nerd 9 years
I don’t know about that, hartsfull: maybe it just makes them seem more relaxed, since most drinkers’ preconception of non-drinkers is “stuffy, uptight, no fun” etc. The person with the drink in their hand may not be any more fun to know, but they will be regarded as more approachable compared to the non-drinker. Besides, most people seem to take this “strategy” way overboard, getting sloppy drunk and doing things they should be glad they can not remember.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
OH, this is a funny topic. It does make cents (stupid joke sorry) to me though. People who have at least one drink loosen up a little and makes others relax around you too.
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
Maybe people who have more money have more to spend going out.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Huh. I'm not a drinker so this probably wouldn't work out so well for me. I guess these people could be more social and they could be people who use happy hour as a time to create work friendships which could help them on their way to the top.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
I would have thought the opposite. I view social drinking as the time to drown my work sorrows via kvetching and complaining-I had no idea this was actually a savvy money making strategy, hee hee.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
My company had a work picnic about 2 years ago at a winery. WORST IDEA EVER! Everyone got roaring drunk and on the buses home (they had 2 buses as the winery was about 30 min away) 8 people got in fights, one co-worker locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn't come out, like a million people threw up. we were probably banned from the winery. It was SO embarassing. I don't drink (bad history) so I was like the only sober person there, so really the only person that truly remembers it all!
haydee haydee 9 years
I have an Aunt who is now a successful prosecutor. She would socially drink a lot so as to mingle with other people in her field when she first started. Sadly she has health problems now because of her lifestyle.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"I'm sure it can be detrimental to social capital if you throw up on your bosses or if you're a violent drunk." That just reminded me of a story :) A company in which I used to be a manager used to treat its managers to yearly regional meetings at nice hotels in nice locations. Naturally, this led to a lot of after-hours shop-talk drinking. (I missed the boat, because they hired me right after discontinuing this wonderful tradition.) Apparently, one of my co-managers once got so drunk with colleagues that she pulled up her dress and peed in the bushes beside the hotel...right outside the windows of a conference room where our bosses were having a late meeting, giving them quite the show. She didn't last very much longer in the company. Drinking with co-workers can be a great thing, but getting totally slammed...not so much.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
As I remember from the book "Freakonomics", just because two sets of stats are linked doesn't mean one causes the other. In other words, it's not the drinks, it's the socializing that is key here. Drinking is a common thing people do to socialize. Socializing enhances social capital. Not drinking. I'm sure it can be detrimental to social capital if you throw up on your bosses or if you're a violent drunk. Not everyone is as charming as they think they are while under the influence. The article is so vague about how they did this so-called study. And even though they claim not to be funded by Budweiser or anything like that, they did this "study" specially to counter public policy dealing with drinking restrictions. Meaning they already had a conclusion in mind BEFORE doing the "study". Very unscientific. Maybe if the study included stats on people who drink alcohol while socializing versus people who do not drink alcohol while doing the same amount of socializing, I'd be a little less skeptical. But people who go out to socialize versus people who stay home and keep to themselves? OF COURSE the advantage goes to the socializers. I don't have anything against drinking in moderation. I just have something against crackpot "studies".
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
In my last career, it did. I used to meet my peers in the same industry (but different companies) for happy hour on a regular basis. We loved our careers, so we talked shop alot. Personally, I came across some BIG opportunities during those get-togethers. It was great.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
So true for working in a hotel. Its funny explaining to friends and family that the reason I am drunk is for work reasons. One drink equals being a person who is no fun, too many drinks equals hot mess. The perfect buzz equals being invited to many social/net working events that people who never go out miss out on. Sucks for them but is great for me. Heck because of it I just got my sister a freakin awesome internship for the summer.
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