The longer you work for an employer, the more likely you are to become comfortable in the workplace. You will probably make friends, and it’s common to forget you are even at work. For the sake of your career, however, it is important that you not share some information, even with your work friends. It is also important that you avoid these topics on social media.
First, do not complain about your job, your co-workers, or your company online. There have been numerous cases where a person complained on social media about their job, only to be fired. Recently, a woman in Texas who had been job searching for months found a job at a day care center. She posted online before she started working that she hates being around a lot of kids. Her employer found out about the post and the woman was fired before she even started working.
You also may be tempted to post negative comments about your boss, your job, or your co-workers. Do not assume that because your privacy settings limit who can see your posts that no one will find out. If you need to complain, complain to someone in person who is not affiliated with the office.
Next, it is best not to bring up controversial topics at work, such as your political opinions or religious views. You are likely to create dissension in the workplace. In addition, sharing your opinions on some matters could lead to a lawsuit later. For example, you may be politically opposed to legalizing gay marriage. You may decide to bring up the topic in order to have a lively debate in the break room. A gay employee may feel harassed, which could lead to a lawsuit and possibly your termination, even though that was not your intent.
Do not share personal relationship problems at work. A major conflict with a relative or spouse can be all-consuming and you may be tempted to share your problems with your work friends. However, that can cause problems for your career because your boss may decide that your stress at home does not make you a good fit for a promotion.
Health issues are also not something you should share at work. You may make people feel uncomfortable if you share too much private information about your health concerns. You may also cause your supervisor to wonder if you are able to handle the job, and you may not be offered a promotion. In extreme cases, you could be fired if the employer is afraid to invest in someone with serious health issues. Although this is illegal and you could sue if that happened, it would be better not to find yourself in that situation to begin with.
At work, usually sharing less is better. You will keep yourself out of many uncomfortable situations that can lead to termination. It’s fine to discuss your weekend plans, what shows you enjoyed on television, or your upcoming vacation. But in general, it’s best to keep work conversation light and limited to non-controversial or personal topics.
If you believe you have been the victim of illegal discrimination or harassment in the workplace, or if you have questions about a sticky legal situation at work, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland employment attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She can help advise you on your situation. She works with clients in the Oakland-San Francisco area, including Tracy, Hayward, Berkeley, Fairfield, San Jose, and the surrounding areas. Call today for a free consultation.