Study suggests social drinkers earn more cash

Colleen Watson

When junior business management major Lyndsay Becker goes out for a drink with her friends, she said she becomes more social and talkative – two qualities future employers may find desirable. So desirable, in fact, that Becker could potentially earn 14 percent more than female co-workers who abstain from drinking.

A study recently published by the Reason Foundation found a direct positive correlation between social drinking and income.

“Drinkers may be able to socialize more with clients and co-workers, giving drinkers an advantage in important relationships,” according to the study. “Drinking may also provide individuals with opportunities to learn people, business and social skills.”

Students agree.

“Sometimes going out for a drink with the boss can be a good thing,” Becker said. “They might consider you for a promotion before anyone else since they know you a little bit better. They also might introduce you to other contacts that would be good for your career.”

Freshman business major Joshua Bauer can see situations when social drinking could be beneficial.

“I believe that going for a drink or two is a good way to just sit and talk about business but be in a comfortable area,” he said.

When Bauer graduates and starts job hunting, drinking socially and frequenting bars at least once a month may work to his advantage.

According to the study, men who socially drink earn 10 percent more than men who abstain from alcohol. Men who visit bars at least once a month see an additional 7 percent increase in their income. Women’s earnings were not affected by the number of visits to the bar.

Regardless of the study’s results, students still see possible drawbacks to drinking with the boss.

“I don’t think it’s responsible for someone to drink around their employer or boss,” said sophomore marketing major Becky Blevins. “I know if I owned a business and saw certain behavior, I would have worries about that person and if they could successfully fulfill their job requirements.”

Blevins suggested going out to dinner or a golf outing as an alternative way to create business contacts. Meanwhile, students at Kent State should use discretion when drinking around co-workers, she said.

“A lot of things depend on how you feel your boss would perceive you drinking, whether they would see it as a good or bad thing,” Blevins said. “It all really depends on how comfortable you are in your work environment.”

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Colleen Watson at [email protected].