You spend all day with your coworkers. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re BFFs, ready to spill all your deepest, darkest secrets. In fact, there are a few things that you should keep to yourself, no matter how comfortable you feel with some of your coworkers.
Not only can avoiding gossip and compromising situations at work help you maintain a high level of productivity, but it can also help you maintain a reputation for professionalism. Here are 6 things your coworkers don’t need to know about you:
1. Crazy College Antics
It might seem like harmless fun to boast of those college stunts. However, the reality is that some of those things are far from harmless. Always talking about your “glory days” of sexual conquests or driving drunk isn’t going to make a good impression. You can agree that you did some pretty stupid stuff in college, but there’s no reason to get into specifics, or dwell on it. The more you share about your past indiscretions, the more likely it is that someone will question your current judgment and abilities.
2. What You Do On Weekends
There’s a difference between casually saying that you’re having a birthday party for your kid and boasting about how drunk or high you’re going to be over the weekend. Don’t brag about getting smashed. And, while you’re at it, don’t share details about your kid’s birthday party. Mention there was one, but no on wants a play-by-play.
3. Suspicions About Others’ Activities
The workplace is not where you want to talk about others’ bedroom activities. It might make delicious gossip if you think two coworkers or having an affair, or if you speculate that someone might have a sexual orientation that is different to yours. However, it’s not your place to gossip about these things, and you don’t want to cultivate a reputation for unprofessional behavior.
4. Your Hatred for Your Job
If you hate your job, keep it to yourself. What you tell your coworkers could eventually get around to the boss. You don’t want to be seen as a negative influence at work. No one likes a complainer who brings down morale. You could be overlooked for promotions and raises if it gets out that you dislike your job.
5. Efforts to Find a New Job
Don’t go around telling coworkers that you’re looking for a new job. Once again, that rumor can get around. You might need to tell your current boss — discreetly — that you’re looking if you want a reference. However, spreading the news with obvious glee is not the best option. Also, avoid making it clear you’re “going after” someone else’s job. You don’t want to be “that guy” who’s always trying to shove others out of the picture.
6. Offensive Humor
If you like offensive jokes, keep them to yourself. Jokes about gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, and religion are among the subjects to keep yourself. A clever sense of humor, expressed in appropriate situations, can help you appear likable and capable. Offensive jokes just make you look unprofessional, and many people won’t think they are funny.
You have friends and family; these are the people who should focus on sharing your life with. At work, it’s better to be the most professional version of yourself.