I cut down drinking and my career took offAug 08, 2023
When I started my first proper corporate job, I was in my early 30s and in my heavy-drinking prime. I worked for a large media organisation so work hard/play hard was part of the culture.
I thrived in this boozy arena, quickly becoming one of the most connected people in the company. Colleagues would gape as I walked round the office being greeted by every second person by name.
But while the drinking certainly helped my popularity, it didn't do anything for my career. In fact, I’m certain that missing work suspiciously the day after work drinks or being visibly hungover actively worked against me, although they were cause for a decent amount of merriment.
Less alcohol = two promotions in two years
When I started meditating and drastically cut down my partying in 2014, I found my career suddenly on the up. I got promoted twice in the next two years.
Partly, it was reputational – not being seen so much as a loose canon. But mostly it was down to being much better to able to do my job with less alcohol in my system. My journal from my heavier drinking/non meditating days is full of this or that nemesis of the month, or this or that crisis. Alcohol is great at creating drama, both internally and externally. And being a source of drama is not an executive quality.
With the double advantage of less alcohol and more meditation, I was better able to see the right course of action in any work situation and navigate it more deftly than before, all while interestingly doing LESS work than before, not more.
Without the alcohol-fuelled drama, I had much more mental resources for creative and analytical thinking, which meant I could work (as the cliché goes) smarter, not harder.
And you don’t just have to take my word for it – research also backs this up.
Alcohol and job performance – the research
You will likely instinctively know that cutting down or removing alcohol will improve your work performance and research backs this up.
A study called ‘Alcohol Use and Job Performance’ in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol looked at the link between alcohol consumption and job performance in a sample of working professionals. The study showed that excessive alcohol use was associated with lower job performance ratings. Heavy drinkers were lower on self-direction at work, conflict avoidance at work and interpersonal relations, perhaps not surprisingly.
Ten ways quitting alcohol will help your career
If you’re considering cutting back on drinking, below are some benefits you can see in the workplace to help motivate you to take action.
- Improved Decision Making: Alcohol impairs judgment and decision-making abilities. Quitting can lead to better decision-making skills, which are crucial for executives who need to make strategic choices for their organisations.
- Enhanced Leadership Skills: Alcohol consumption can hinder effective leadership, as it might result in erratic behaviour or communication issues. By quitting alcohol, executives may be more composed and exhibit stronger leadership qualities.
- Increased Productivity and Focus: Executives often face high-pressure situations and heavy workloads. Quitting alcohol may lead to increased productivity and focus, allowing them to handle complex tasks more efficiently.
- Better Executive Presence: Quitting alcohol can positively impact executive presence, projecting a more professional and confident image in high-level meetings and public appearances.
- Improved Professional Relationships: Alcohol-related incidents or excessive drinking in social settings can negatively affect professional relationships. Quitting alcohol may lead to more respectful and positive interactions with employees, peers, and stakeholders.
- Reduced Health Risks: Alcohol abuse can lead to health issues that could impact an executive's ability to fulfil their duties. By quitting alcohol, executives may improve their overall health and longevity in their careers.
- Enhanced Communication Skills: Alcohol can impair communication, leading to misunderstandings or misinterpretations in business interactions. Abstaining from alcohol may lead to better communication skills in executive roles.
- Better Stress Management: Executives face significant stress, and alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism. By quitting alcohol, they can adopt healthier and more effective stress management strategies.
- Positive Role Modelling: Executives are often seen as role models within their organisations. Quitting alcohol can set a positive example for employees and promote a healthy workplace culture.
- Long-Term Career Prospects: Executives who prioritise their health and well-being, including abstaining from excessive alcohol consumption, may be better positioned for long-term success in their careers.
What you can do about it
While I was a heavy drinker, I considered myself a high functioning one and managed to achieve good results despite the weekly binges.
But I was swimming against the stream of my main ambition at the time, which was the climb the ladder and get more and more success at work.
Recognising that many of you too are high functioning, high achieving professionals, I'm excited to announce a new program designed to help you achieve your professional goals by taking care of your personal demons.
New offerings for over thinkers and high functioning professionals
Next week, I will be opening enrolments for my TWO most impactful programs to date:
100 Days to Sober Freedom for High Functioning Professionals.
This abstinence-based program is designed to take you from wherever you are to place where alcohol is no longer holding you back, in any area of your life.
I have specially designed the program with busy, successful professionals in mind, so I will respect your time with the most efficient and effective schedule, with plenty of opportunity for one on one contact and support that is comprehensive without taxing your time.
If this sounds appealing to you, register your interest on the link below and you will qualify for special bonuses.
Next cohort starts September 10 – enrolments open next week and will fill up fast due to very limited spots. Course runs only four times a year.
I am also restructuring my entry-level program to make it even more accessible and add access to live meditations.
Meditate & Moderate: 30 Day Experiment for Overthinkers
Drinking too much but not yet ready to go sober? This is the program for you. See how 15 minutes a day of meditation will drastically reduce the amount you drink.
Next cohort starts September 1. Register your interest today to avoid missing out on a spot.
Stay on Track membership
For those of you in Stay on Track, the program will continue as usual but with access to the additional live meditation sessions. There will also be special discounts if you want to join either of the new programs – details to be sent separately.
If you have any questions, please reach out through the contact page.
Start improving your life now. Meditate more, drink less.