When I started selling software to the recruitment industry, it was 2012 and I was four years out of university. I’d had success in my sales career so far and had learnt that real relationships were built networking.
Networking was synonymous with drinking, as were trade shows, conferences, client lunches and end of quarter celebrations.
At 25, I didn’t really think about my alcohol consumption; I was climbing the career ladder and I was having fun while doing it.
By the time I hit 30, three years into my career in the recruitment tech industry in Sydney, the end of quarter drinks were now end of month drinks and the networking was weekly rather than monthly.
My alcohol consumption had crept up on me. A couple of glasses had turned into a couple of bottles of wine, and once I had a drink, I knew more times than not I would drink more than I wanted to. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I knew I had to make a change if I was to keep my career and my sanity.
Everyone around me was also drinking, so it was very easy to hide my addiction.
Addiction is something that can affect any of us, at any stage of life, and in high intensity sales environments like recruitment, it is often a default to relieve stress with a drink or two.
We conveniently ignore the health risks because we want to numb out, and we make jokes about being high functioning alcoholics as we chink our glasses. Cheers guys.
Every event in the recruitment industry calendar is permeated by wine and beer circulating the room.
Only you can really decide whether you have a healthy relationship with alcohol or not, but judging from many of the conversations I’ve sparked when politely declining a wine, more of us are rethinking our relationship with our beloved booze than ever before.
We don’t like doing things that make us uncomfortable. Talking about addiction in the workplace is still as uncomfortable as it comes. The rhetoric I am used to has always been around blame, willpower, weakness of character, and it’s always directed towards the person living with the addiction.