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After-Work Happy Hours/Social Events – What’s Appropriate for a Traveling Healthcare Professional?

February 19th, 2012

As a travel nurse, getting to know your new co-workers means being friendly and open to social invitations. Beyond the trip out to lunch or the office party, this may include invitations to after-work events, parties, and special occasions. Though you’ll want to get to know your staff to ensure comfort during your new assignment, it’s important to keep a few things in mind in order to avoid any potential pitfalls you may encounter.

To Go or not to Go?
On a new assignment, it may be difficult at first to judge just how chummy you should get with your new colleagues. While you don’t want to seem rude by declining invitations, there might be times when it’s safer to sit out a big night at the bar. Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast answer here. You may want to accept more casual invitations, such as offers to go to lunch—and politely decline more personal invitations to hit the town. Don’t feel pressured to share more of your time than you need to, just be polite and friendly.

Be Friendly, But Professional
When out after work, you might be having a great time getting to know your new co-workers, but remember: it is important to stay professional and not get carried away. Although you aren’t at work, what you do can still have repercussions in the workplace. Word travels, so don’t do anything you’ll regret the next day.

Maintain Comfortable Boundaries
If you do decide to head out with your new colleagues, it’s best to set firm boundaries beforehand. It’s perfectly acceptable to set clear limits on how far you’re willing to go in celebrating with your coworkers. When all else fails, make an appearance and head home. In any situation in your new assignment, keep your career goals in mind, and don’t jeopardize them for a night out partying.

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