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How fresh graduates can ruin their career with alcohol

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University is a time to get all the partying out of your system right? Wrong! The findings of a new study published in the Cornell Chronicle in the US reveal that binge drinking can have an effect on new graduates’ likelihood of landing a job.

The longitudinal study is a first-of-its-kind looking at the link between college-to-work transition and alcohol misuse.

The study found that a student who binges on alcohol four times a month has a 6% lower probability of finding a job than one who does not binge drink at all. And when that number increased to six times a month it showed an increase in their unemployment probability to 10%.

Analysing data from four major American universities, provided by students who graduated between 2014 and 2016, researchers found that only when drinking escalates to “binge drinking” does it impact graduates looking for full-time employment.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “four or more drinks within two hours for a woman and five or more drinks within two hours for a man”.

Each episode of binge drinking during a month-long period lowers by 1.4% the odds of attaining full-time employment upon graduation, researchers found. Pinpointing for the first time exactly what it is about drinking that might impact employment status.

How students drink versus how much they consume appears to be influential in predicting lower employment rates, the study says.

Drinking moderately, researchers found, does not adversely impact job-searching abilities. In fact, any adverse effects from moderate consumption might be counterbalanced by potential benefits such as networking and job-search intensity.

“This paper is consistent with the Smithers Institute’s recent emphasis on the impact of career transition on drinking behaviour,” said Samuel Bacharach, director of the R. Brinkley Smithers Institute for alcohol-related workplace studies in Manhattan and the project’s principal investigator to the Cornell Chronicle..

“It is in concert with the previous work we’ve done on retirement and onboarding. Most importantly, it is also consistent with Smithers’ continued programmatic interest in substance abuse not only in the workplace, but in the college community as well.”

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