8 Secrets You Should Keep to Yourself at Work

Last Updated Sep 29, 2008 2:19 PM EDT

  • Shhhh!The Find: A collegial work environment is a great thing, but there are some things HR experts recommend you should always keep to yourself no matter how chummy the atmosphere on your team.
  • The Source: The HR World blog
The Takeaway: If you're joking around with good-natured colleagues or eager to get something off your chest, it's easy to let imprudent information slip out. But according to HR World there are at least eight things you should always keep to yourself at work. While some of these points are obvious, anyone who's spent any time at all in an office can vouch for the fact that this advice bears repeating, and that heeding it could avoid a whole lot of unproductive drama.
  1. You're looking for a new job. While it can be tempting to tell your friends at work about how well your latest job interview went or how you can't wait to resign, resist these urges.
  2. You're romantically involved with a co-worker. If you do choose to tempt fate and begin dating one of your co-workers, it's probably wise not to tell anyone else at work about the affair. Not only is revealing too many details about your personal life unprofessional, but if the romance goes south, an already stressful breakup may be intensified by the unwelcome extra attention from your co-workers.
  3. You had a wild weekend of debauchery. While it's common for co-workers to talk about what they did over the weekend around the water cooler on Monday morning, it's wise to avoid sharing details that could paint you in an unflattering light.
  4. You were really at the beach when you called in sick.
  5. You frequently "borrow" office supplies.
  6. You despise your boss or another colleague. If you've found yourself embroiled in a contentious relationship with your manager or a co-worker, do your best not to broadcast your dislike to the entire company. For one thing, talking about a co-worker behind his or her back can make other employees think that you're unprofessional and disrespectful. Also, open hostility can create an uncomfortable work environment for everyone and decrease other colleagues' morale and happiness.
  7. You have a criminal past. Anecdotes about co-workers have a tendency to morph as they move from employee to employee, so by the time the story gets back to you, your night in jail for public intoxication may well have turned into to a 10-year sentence in Leavenworth for running an international drug-smuggling ring.
  8. You're planning a coup in your department. Thinking about presenting the CEO with a groundbreaking business idea that will skyrocket you to the top of the department and oust your superiors along the way? Then mum's the word.
The Question: Any additional items that should be added to the list?

(Image of shushing woman by A Touch of Glass, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.

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