How many hours per week do you spend in the office? If you’re like most people, eight hours a day is standard. That’s about 2,000 hours per year at your office. In that amount of time you’re destined to bond with your co-workers. It’s human nature and it’s an important aspect of enjoying your job, but you still have to watch what you say.
Wherever you work – retail shops, business centers, dude ranches, cruise ships – you have to keep it professional. Your co-workers are not your college friends, your drinking buddies, your spouse, or even your dog. You cannot say whatever you want at work.
Workplaces are public spaces. A simple slip of the tongue or a strongly worded opinion can lead to a disastrous downward spiral in your working relationships. When you know someone in one setting, you can’t assume you know them in every setting. It’s amazing how quickly a simple comment can hit on a sensitive issue, start a rumor mill, or lead to major problems.
There are certain topics that seem to stir the pot more than others. These taboo topics include:
- Career Goals
- Financial Issues
- Personal Life and Relationships
- Personal Problems
- Health Issues and Medical History
- Plans To Quit Your Job
- Criminal Background or Experiences
- Partying Habits
- Personal Opinions
Do your best to avoid these taboo topics at all costs. Bring them up and you’re bound to rub someone the wrong way. Instead stick to safe topics at work such as work, business competitors, weather trends, sports, history, art, music, or the news.
Say the wrong thing and it can hurt your reputation, damage relationships, or even lead to you losing your job. Always remember where you are when you open your mouth. Keep the office a professional atmosphere and you’ll be way better off in the long run. Best of luck.