You spend a large portion of your day at work, so it's natural to feel comfortable there. You probably talk about a whole host of subjects with your coworkers in the cubes, by the water cooler and in the break room. However, some conversations don't belong in the workplace. Consider steering clear of these six topics while at work to avoid painting yourself in a bad light or gaining a reputation for making others uncomfortable.
1. Political Opinions
Avoid the temptation to discuss politics at work. Whether you're a strong supporter of a particular candidate or an outspoken activist for a political cause, save the conversation for after hours. Discussing political topics with or within earshot of others could lead to heated arguments or hard feelings.
2. Religious Views
Faith and religious beliefs are topics to avoid, so respect others by discussing your views elsewhere. Avoid the urge to tell another coworker that you disagree with his religious preferences, and don't bring up your own beliefs or customs. Never try to convert someone in the workplace to your religion.
3. Relationship Woes
Whether you're having problems disciplining your teenaged son, fuming over an argument with your mother-in-law or considering filing for a divorce from your husband, the workplace is not the place to discuss relationship problems. Rumors and gossip spread quickly at work, so save these topics for discussion with a trusted friend. Word of such issues may cause your subordinates to see you as weak or cause a manager to question your ability to focus on your job duties.
4. Sexual Encounters
Discussing your sex life at work is a big no-no. This personal topic might cause others in the office to feel uncomfortable, and it could be grounds for sexual harassment complaints against you.
5. Health Issues
If you struggle with medical problems, limit the amount of information you share at work. If the issue requires you to take some time off, discuss the illness or diagnosis with your supervisor or a human resources representative. Don't share your medical issues with everyone else in the office, as they may question your ability to do your job.
6. Career Goals
While it's great to have future career goals, be careful how much you plan or daydream at work. If you hope to move up within your current organization, have a brief discussion with your boss, and rely on your work performance to sell you. If you want to find a job with a competing firm, keep your plans quiet until you have a concrete offer.
It's important to consider how conversations you have at work could affect the future of your career, so take note of these six topics to avoid. Certain information you reveal may become fodder for the office gossips, giving you a bad reputation among your coworkers. Other topics may land you in hot water with human resources or cause your boss to question your ability to do your job well.
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