In a time when it’s common to overshare many things about our lives on the Internet, whether it’s what we have for dinner or a family problem, it’s no surprise why some people have problems watching what comes out of their mouths.
In typical social settings, the worst that can happen is people calling you out for being tactless. But in the office setting or some other professional environment, talking about sensitive topics can lead to a damaged reputation, or worse, losing your job altogether.
So, do yourself a favor. The next time you’re chatting with workmates, it’s best you avoid the following topics.
This one is a no-brainer. Religion is such a personal matter that just broaching the subject can put you at risk of being in the middle of an intense debate. Bottom line? It’s best not to bring up whatever it is you believe or don’t believe in. You’re better off keeping your religious views to yourself, even if you’re asked about it. In this case, just say something like, “I usually keep my views about this topic to myself,” or “I’d rather keep it to myself, thanks.”
Next to religion, politics (and political parties) is perhaps the most volatile topic that could land you in more trouble than you bargained for, especially in today’s heated political climate. If some families are ruined because of political beliefs and affiliations, do you really expect to have a smoother time at work?
Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, try to be as neutral as you can when conversations about politics come up.
Your Money Woes
No one wants to know how broke you are, and talking about your money problems only makes it seem like you’re begging for help. Conversations about your personal finances should be kept to a minimum as possible, regardless of what kind of condition you’re in. Talking about having splurged on something or having to scrape the bottom of the barrel for cash is no one’s business but your own and your bank account.
Unless your employer has adopted the policy of being transparent with everyone’s salary, talking about how much your boss is paying you is a no-no. There are simply too many bad things that can happen when you talk about how much you’re being paid. For example, if other employees find out you’re getting a bigger paycheck than they are, the issue of fairness will ultimately come up and everything you do in the office will automatically be framed against how much you’re making.
When we have personal problems, it can be hard to keep your emotions bottled in. While it’s normal to say you’re going through a rough patch, it’s a completely different matter when you’re talking about the details of your personal problems, whether it’s a fight with your spouse the night before, being in debt, or even having a disease. For issues that may affect your work, you’re better off talking to HR instead of announcing them in public for everyone to gossip on.
If you stay away from these topics, you should be able to avoid costly mistakes caused by talking too much. For more office etiquette tips, be sure to follow this blog. If you’re currently looking for a job and need help, the staffing services specialists of Top Notch Personnel are more than happy to help. Contact our offices to learn how our services can help you.