5 Things to Keep Quiet About in Your Work Environment
As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. We spend many hours a day and a large part of life with coworkers and supervisors at work. While it is important to be friendly in the workplace cooperating with others in a cheerful manner, there should be limits as to the sharing of personal information. Your private matters could be misinterpreted or taken out of context creating “gossip” or portray bad reflection of you. Here are five areas to keep private at your job:
YOUR BIG PLAN
We all have life aspirations, and some may be outside of your current position and even outside of your entire field. While it is essential to happiness to grow, embrace change, and follow dreams, if you plan to quit your law firm job at the end of the year and hit the road to become a travel blogger, it may be best to keep that under wraps unless you are ready for job separation. You would not want to be viewed as a “short-timer” or replaced before you are ready to depart your current career. Revealing your big plan could also create doubt in loyalty and result in being passed over for other exciting new opportunities at your current company. Those around you may admire your big plan but be discerning about sharing it.
YOUR LOVE LIFE
As exciting and fulfilling as love can be, the workplace is no venue to discuss your personal love life, your latest date, or relationship problems. Commonly, coworkers become personal friends but still, conversations about personal matters between you are best kept private and outside of work hours, and certainly not by office computer communications. Remember that your employer most likely monitors all electronic communications and assumes (or documents) that employees understand company resources are for business use purposes only. Additionally, positioning yourself as a professional who is in control of their personal and business life and knows how and when to keep private matters private is vital to career growth in the long term. Over-sharing any drama about your love experience is unprofessional, no matter what the work environment.
You just received a fantastic raise or bonus, and you could not be more excited. This is great news to share with close family and friends but usually not someone in the workplace. In small law firms, matters of income are generally kept confidential by employers and if so, should be by employees as well as a matter of professionalism. Similarly, if you are unhappy with your income, the best course of action is to demonstrate your unique value, not complain, and consider approaching your immediate supervisors and HR personnel about a raise consistent with your performance and the job market. Complaining publicly about your latest review most likely will reflect poorly on you, not the company. Additionally, you do not want to post anything on social media in this regard.
YOUR NEXT MOVE
You and your suite-mate at the law firm have become close friends, which tempts you to tell them you will be late to work tomorrow, call in sick or use your vacation time to attend an interview. This scenario puts your your coworker, even though a friend, in an awkward situation making the work environment uncomfortable. Other employees may inquire as to your whereabouts raising speculation. You would not want anyone to find themselves in this situation, especially not a personal friend. It is best to keep your next step to yourself until you are ready to announce a final move to your supervisor. Always follow the proper business protocol for leaving an employer on favorable terms.
YOUR FAMILY ISSUES
As with your love life, family issues are just that – for the family or your support system to help you handle. In general, chronic family issues should never enter the workplace except for confiding in your HR department or manager for assistance if needed and utilizing any available benefits. If family issues are pressing, it is best to take a leave of absence to handle them if possible so that you can be present and alert on the job for which you are being entrusted and paid. Consider creating an inner circle of support outside of work. Be a person who supports your personal circle as well. Keeping family and work separate is a good idea, while at the same time, attending work events for the whole family is highly encouraged.
Of course, there are always exceptions to these 5 Things to Keep Quiet About in Your Work Environment but still, do your best to be an ethical, dedicated employee, who is professional at all times. Treat every day at work as if it were an interview and grow from there. The best advice I received early in my career was to “bloom where you are planted.” In our connected world, you never know when things will come back around. It is always best to keep private matters private and stay present on the job in the most professional way possible.
Author: Mary Monzingo Link, CPC | Founder | Monzingo Legal
Monzingo Legal Recruiters specializes in the placement of attorneys, paralegals, marketing directors, and legal administrators in law firms nationwide. Contact us if we can help you with your next career move. For more information, see www.monzingolegal.com.