Originally Posted by CWMI
Do you recognize any difference between required events and brown-nosing non-required events?

I do. Where I worked before, there were frequent happy hours at a nearby Irish pub that frequently went until 9 or 10 at night. I mean just about every night of the week. I was a defense contractor and the government employees would hold court network, and everyone was encouraged to kiss [censored] build relationships with our customers, so they would like us and give us more money and better assignments.

I almost never went, partly because my tiny engineer brain thinks that the job I do at work should speak for itself, and that I shouldn't have to brown nose to get ahead. I also disliked many of the government employees on a personal level, and the idea of standing around drinking with people I don't even like in the first place was foreign to me. Finally, my wife was a SAHM (still is) and looked forward to me coming home for dinner (still does).

My wife and I POJA'd that I'd go to two happy hours a month, and come home in time to help put the kids to bed (7 or so).

That said, I recognize that a certain amount of networking is required in many jobs, some fields more than others. I also recognize (in my field at least) that those who network better and build relationships do better than those who are technically superior. It's something I'm struggling with professionally, especially now as a project lead.

Me - 44
DW - 39
Married 16 years