Do you want to advance your career and try to stand out in the company so that the long-awaited promotion is yours? Corporate events are a good opportunity to get to know executives and other employees better in private and to show that you identify with the companies also in your free time. Is this true or are such events just unpaid overtime?

Reading tip: become a senior professional

Corporate events as unpaid working hours

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

  • Just over 30% find corporate events annoying and do not attend them at all
  • Just under 30% limit visits to corporate events to “compulsory events” such as the Christmas party
  • A further 30% go spontaneously to such events from time to time
  • Only 10% think corporate events are important and regularly meet colleagues for evening beer

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

The same survey also surveyed more than 160 executives. The results vary massively and are as follows:

  • Only 10% of respondents do not attend corporate events
  • About 40% limit visits to corporate events to “compulsory events” such as the Christmas party
  • more than 50% of managers rate such events as very important and attend them regularly or spontaneously.

Executives seem to make much more sense of such events. The study mentions reasons such as employee retention, motivation and networks. So are corporate events a boost to your career or what can be the reasons for the differences?

Use company events cleverly

You can use such corporate 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 greatly with transportation and shows that you identify strongly with the company.

Also, at such events, e.g. after-hours beer in the pub, there is often exciting information about topics in the company. For example, you could find out that a job as a team leader will soon become 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-attend event for many employees. The job portal surveyed more than 500 employees. Two-thirds have no direct desire for the Christmas party to regard it as a compulsory event.

Just under 15% of respondents said they were looking forward to the Christmas party. The Christmas party is important for your visibility and perception for your company’s executives. It offers space for good conversations and easy-going 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 themselves in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, good parties connect people.

Tip: Target managers and important personalities. Draw attention to yourself!

Example: After-Work Drink

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

After some drinks, exciting internal information is also often exchanged, which can help you. For example, you could learn that a job as a team leader will soon become vacant and be proactively applied before everyone else.

Tip: Take a close look at the number of participants (managers, etc.) of the after-work drink and then decide if you are there.

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


Based on the survey results shown, you can see that hardly any employees really want to attend company events and that even at the evening beer there are often only small rounds to be found. That’s your chance to stand out.

Reading tip: Become a leader

Especially such events help you to build an internal network and personal relationships with the decision-makers of the company. As is already known, professional progress is often associated with an extra mile (e.g. overtime). Corporate events can be such an extra mile and a boost for your career.

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

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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Image source: Food photo created by katemangostar –


I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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