Would you like to advance professionally and try to stand out in the company so that the long-awaited promotion comes to you? Company events are a good opportunity to get to know executives and other employees better, also privately, and to show that you can identify with the company in your free time. Is that true or are such events just unpaid overtime?

Reading tip: Become a senior professionally

Company events as unpaid working time

Relaxing with colleagues over a beer after work or at company events – career boost or annoying overtime? To understand this better I would like to a survey by the job portal Karriere.at briefly point out. The results of the more than 500 interviewed employees on the topic of after-work beer with colleagues and company events are:

  • Just over 30% find company events annoying and do not attend them at all
  • Just under 30% limit their visits to company events to “mandatory events” such as the Christmas party
  • Another 30% go to such events spontaneously from time to time
  • Only 10% think company events are important and regularly meet colleagues for a beer after work

Fact: The majority (60%) find such events annoying and only 10% actively attend them.

In the same survey, more than 160 executives were also interviewed. The results differ massively and are as follows:

  • Only 10% of those surveyed do not attend company events
  • Around 40% limit their attendance at company events to “compulsory events” such as the Christmas party
  • Over 50% of managers rate such events as very important and attend them regularly or spontaneously.

Executives seem to classify such events as much more sensible. The study gives reasons such as employee loyalty, motivation and networks. So are company events a career boost or what can be the reasons for the differences?

Use company events cleverly

You can use such company events specifically to build a good relationship with the managers and colleagues of your company. While you usually only discuss small talk or business topics, you now have the opportunity to build a kind of personal relationship with your boss. This usually helps a lot with the promotion and shows that you strongly identify with the company.

At such events, for example after work beer in the pub, there is often exciting information on topics in the company. You could find out there, for example, that a position as a team leader will soon be vacant and proactively inquire before everyone else. I would like to give two examples of this in the following.

Example: Christmas party

The company Christmas party is a must for many employees. The job portal Karriere.at surveyed over 500 employees. Two thirds have no direct desire for the Christmas party and rate it as a compulsory event.

Just under 15% of those surveyed said they were looking forward to the Christmas party. The Christmas party has an important meaning for your visibility and perception for the executives of your company. It offers space for good conversations and relaxed get-togethers away from everyday work. It is also the perfect opportunity to get to know the important managers better and to draw attention to yourself in a relaxed atmosphere. Also, good parties connect people.

Tip: Address executives and important personalities in a targeted manner. Draw attention to yourself!

Example: after-work drink

The after-work drink is an often spontaneous event with a changing group of participants in a bar / pub near the company. You sit together in a cozy atmosphere and get to know each other better privately. A kind of friendship can significantly improve the way we work together in everyday working life.

After a few drinks, exciting internal information is also often exchanged, which can help you further. For example, you could find out there that a position as a team leader will soon be available and apply proactively before everyone else.

Tip: Take a close look at the group of participants (managers, etc.) of the after-work drink and then decide whether you will be there.

I would like to give you a personal tip. If a senior manager or your boss is there for the after-work drink, then cancel everything that has already been planned for the evening. Take the chance!


Based on the survey results shown, you will notice that hardly any employees really want to go to company events and that there are often only small groups over a beer after work. This is exactly your chance to stand out.

Reading tip: Become a manager

Such events in particular help you to build up an internal network and personal relationships with the company’s decision-makers. As is already known: professional advancement is often associated with an extra mile (e.g. overtime). Corporate events can be such an extra mile and a career boost.

Final tip: External user groups are also a good addition to your career.

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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