The wheels of success are greased with whiskey.
Hollywood loves to depict its most successful characters as hard drinkers. Think of how often you see Annalise Keating drinking vodka or how many Don Draper scenes involve bourbon.
Turns out, these portrayals are, well, accurate. According to research from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), people who regularly consume alcohol are usually better educated and wealthier than people who don’t. “This is observed in all countries,” the OECD wrote in a major report last year.
OECD researchers, who reviewed dozens of academic studies comparing the education and socioeconomic statuses of drinkers and non-drinkers all over the world, found a couple different reasons to explain why people who drink tend to be better off than teetotalers.
The first is because “soft skills” like networking are so important in getting ahead these days, so drinkers may have a higher number of professional contacts and more information about job prospects because of how much time they spend socializing with their coworkers, both during and after work. Key takeaway: Say yes to any work event that involves alcohol.
The OECD’s report also said that better educated people are probably more aware of the health benefits of moderate drinking. A glass of red wine every night, for example, is known to be good for the heart, but apparently if you don’t go to college you might not know that.
Researchers found that the economic benefits of drinking apply to people of all age groups — especially, it seems, older folks. “Some studies provide surprising evidence suggesting that alcohol-dependent people above age 60 are more likely to be in employment than their non-dependent counterparts,” the report states. The phrase “alcohol-dependent” has never sounded quite so good, has it?
But drinkers aren’t just better educated than non-drinkers — they’re also… just… smarter. At least that’s what a study performed by the New York-based Psychology Today magazine suggested in 2010: the study found that children in the United Kingdom and the United States who were more intelligent grew up to consume alcohol more frequently — and in larger quantities — than children who were less intelligent.
So now all of you aspiring Olivia Popes and Roger Sterlings know the liquid secret to success. But we almost forgot the best part: While Pope, Sterling, Draper and Keating are all kind of unhappy, conflicted characters, in real life, according to the OECD, people who drink report “a higher degree of life satisfaction” than abstainers.
Now go pour yourself a glass of champagne to celebrate. ?