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| Education and Financial

05/20/15

Working gas: Are you giving too much of yourself away at work?

Do you consider yourself a chatty person at the office?
Not so much a worker that gravitates toward drama or gossip per say but rather that proverbial "open book." Do you find yourself telling just about everyone who will listen about your marriage issues or the ins and outs of your vacation that you just finished?
The idea of being a little too open at work isn't unheard of by any means. Consider that the old adage about work is true: you tend to spend half of your life at work. On a smaller scale, you may spend more time working than you do at home; that revelation hardly is one that is groundbreaking.
There are some things, however, that are off limits at work, and while you're assuming you're just being friendly or wanting to be liked, you're actually hurting your career and character with every word uttered from your mouth.
For example, you should steer clear of badmouthing of any kind. You don't know, for one, who might hear what you're saying but furthermore, you don't want to be the person pegged as talking poorly about co workers and isn't willing to address issues in a more professional way. The same goes for your job specifically. Same the hating for discussion with friends who are close or family members. They'll be more apt to have sympathy for your situation rather than a co worker. As much as you believe that this professional colleague isn't going to care about how much you dislike your job, they may, and then you'll be faced with the consequences of insubordination just because you couldn't clam up when needed.

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One of the bigger mistakes made at work as it relates to communication and disclosure is beginning or sparking a debate on a subject matter that is either not appropriate or would be considered polarizing or offensive. Steer clear of talking about religion, child abuse, politics or anything else that you'd deem as a subject that can cause heated arguments within the office. Keep the conversation light and informal and don't turn this into an episode of "Meet The Press."
The aforementioned marriage talk also is worth noting as far as what not to say. You really want to avoid talking about relationship issues or marriage concerns. You'll undoubtedly make the listener uncomfortable, and the topic just isn't a good one for the office.
Being a chatty, personable worker is advisable. It makes you approachable, and you'll be the first to often be considered for a team event or activity that can help you career. But the flip side is taking the talk too far and alienating yourself by not learning how to discern between acceptable and not.

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