There are a lot of things to figure out (or sometimes learn the hard way)聽post-college graduation. There鈥檚 figuring out how to manage your student loan debt, learning how to聽rock a group interview and, somewhere down the line, telling your boss that you鈥檙e quitting. But there鈥檚 one situation, no matter what industry you鈥檙e working聽in, that just about all of us will find ourselves in sooner or later. Yep, we鈥檙e talking about the office happy hour. And while enjoying a well-earned drink at the end of a hard day can be a great way to bond with coworkers, it also provides聽plenty of opportunity to screw up too. We caught up with Eric Arnold, a member of The League of Extraordinary Drinkers and one of the authors of the book Drink Like a Grown Up. He spilled all the deets on how to be just as professional in the bar as you are at the office (including what *not* to do, unless you want to be the talk of the office on Monday).

It's a party all the time

1. Don鈥檛 get sloppy.聽Call it adulting, but drinking during a work situation is not the same as when you were on your college campus. Eric adds, 鈥淓ver hear the phrase, 鈥楴ever let them see you sweat?鈥 Never let them see you puke into a sidewalk garbage can, either. If you know you鈥檙e usually fine on three drinks, have two. If you鈥檙e usually fine on two, drink just one.鈥 That way you鈥檙e participating in the fun and don鈥檛 embarrass yourself.

2. Choose mid-shelf drinks. 鈥淐ocktails don鈥檛 always taste better if they鈥檙e more expensive, meaning you don鈥檛 look smart if you order Pappy Van Winkle just because somebody else is buying. You鈥檒l appear wasteful.鈥 Go for a mid-shelf liquor to prevent a hangover. Bonus: You鈥檒l look like you鈥檙e experienced enough to have a preference over well聽drinks, but know Grey Goose very arguably isn鈥檛 the best vodka just because it costs twice as much.

3. Consider the environment.聽Like you would handle a business meeting, check your surroundings. 鈥淚f you鈥檙e in a wood-paneled bar with taxidermy adorning the walls, odds are the bartender won鈥檛 be making a particularly good Manhattan. Also, you might come off like a snob,鈥 said Eric. If you鈥檙e at a beer place and really hate beer, order wine or聽something super simple, like a gin and tonic.

Office colleagues drinking beer after work

4. No shots. Ever.聽Honestly, this is probably a good rule just鈥 you know鈥 in general, but Eric probably puts it best: 鈥淣o after-work outing that involved shots ever ended well. If someone offers up shots, it鈥檚 time to head for the exits.鈥 Touch茅, Eric,聽touch茅.

5. Have a backup cocktail.聽鈥淣ot every bartender can make every drink, so have a backup. For example, if your usual is a gimlet and the bartender seems confused, just go for a martini,鈥 advises Eric. That way you won鈥檛 hold up the line, but will still get a drink you like.

6. Don鈥檛 experiment.聽There鈥檚 something to be said about sticking to your old faithful, especially when your boss might be involved in the festivities. Eric agrees, saying, 鈥淵ou know the drinks you like and the ones you don鈥檛. On someone else鈥檚 dime, at a time when you need to make a good impression, it鈥檚 usually not the best occasion to order the bar鈥檚 special made of six different liquors, juices and sugar.鈥

7. Tip well.聽鈥淓specially if the bar is used to dealing with your rowdy coworkers, a good tip lets the bartender know you鈥檙e the cool, composed one. Bartenders have memories like elephants, and they鈥檒l treat you well next time you visit on your own, sans the suits from the surrounding cubicles,鈥 notes Eric.

Tweet us your favorite happy hour drink @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)