Your work environment, your colleagues, and your managers may seem like family, and home, to you. You may love talking and sharing the finer details of your life with people you see, every day. Life is not often an episode of Friends, though. There are many different kinds of working environments. There are often open-plan offices, desks stationed near to each, or small cubicles. Your colleagues probably spend more time, closer to you, than your family would, on any given day.
Men and women, by nature, are social creatures. People have different personalities and working styles. Moira, from accounts, is always popping by to say ‘hi’. Women are, generally, very good at communicating. Ladies can chat, all the time. In any office, conversations are a part of daily life. We share our weekend plans, our recipes for muffins, and, men, too, often talk about their sports teams. Who won the big game, on the weekend? Did you see that last touch down? There is water cooler chit-chat, and, sharing the drama of the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
We are only human, after all, and social creatures. It’s only natural that we will form friendships with our colleagues. Some people meet their future spouses at work. Maybe you and Dave from accounts have decided to move your office flirtation to outside the office. You’ve decided to meet for after work drinks, this Friday.
There is a group of staff going, so technically, it’s not a date. (*Though you have bought yourself a new dress, and you’re ducking out, in your lunch hour, to have your hair done.) In any office, or work environment, there are certain types of conversations that you should never have with your colleagues. Ever.
1. Are You Job Hunting?
It is a good idea to keep absolutely quiet about this. Never, as tempted as you may be, share your goal with your colleagues. Yes, you plant to go somewhere, where you will truly be appreciated, but, until you do, you should not utter a single word. Be as silent as the tomb. The last thing that you want is a conversation to make its way back to management.
Gossip and rumors will spread like wildfire. Even a casual mention to a work ‘friend’ may somehow get back to your boss. Imagine being called in and asked to explain. Avoid awkward conversations and any questions, from anyone, until the deed is done. People are competitive and loyalty is a value that is highly rated. However, your colleagues may throw you under the proverbial bus to score points with management.
Yes, it does get tricky when it comes to references. You may need to be discrete about who you list when it comes to putting down references on your C.V. You don’t want your boss to get calls from recruiters asking about your skills. Avoid listing colleagues, or managers, in your current company. Yes, they may sing your praises, but, you risk your reputation by including current work colleagues in your reference list.
Sometimes, it is unavoidable, but, you should exercise extreme caution and generally keep quiet until you have signed on the proverbial dotted line with another company, and are ready to resign. Until you do resign, consider your job Survivor Company and you are as fake as it may be, a happy, productive, employee. Fake it, until you make it, to a new island.