Whether in hospitality jobs or another field, it's likely you'll end up going for drinks with your colleagues at some point.
In some workplaces, extra-curricular contact with the people you work with is saved for the yearly Christmas party. In others, a little trip to the pub after work can happen weekly, or even more often!
These can be a fun and useful activity to take part in…
Change the subject
During working hours, much of your time will be spent talking shop, but when you're out with colleagues, the conversation topic pool is much more open, giving you a chance to see a different side to the people you work with.
Although it's common for colleagues to discuss work matters a lot when they're seeing each other informally outside of the office, they may be able to do so in a more relaxed way, too.
Meet new people
Often in our jobs, we spend time with the same people all the time, depending on our role. A member of waiting staff might know his fellow waiters and waitresses well, for example, but not the new pot washer in the kitchen.
Informal gatherings outside of work mean you can connect with people you work with that you might not have direct contact with during working hours, boosting your chances of turning work mates into true friends.
Seeing people in these situations can be a way to remind them of your ambitions and tell managers about concerns you might have that you haven't been able to tell them within the working day. While it's best to treat fun times as being for fun, not work matters, you may be able to, for example, remind a colleague that you want to set up a meeting with them.
Find out about peoples' job histories
Another helpful part of out of hours meet-ups is that you may get to chat to people about their careers, their past jobs and future hopes.
Not only does this give you an insight into who the people you work with really are, which could help you connect to them more, it might also help you in your own journey and spark ideas for the career development route you want to take.
Simply letting your hair down with people you share experiences with everyday can be a great release for workplace stress. Sometimes, at busy periods for example, it's easy for things to become tense. But if you spend some down time with your colleagues, you'll all have the chance to let that tension fade together, and perhaps end up closer to each other.