Daily Archives: July 6, 2009

When to Share and Not to Share Stories at Work

Recently, I wrote a blog about job search tips and how my brother used some more traditional techniques to find a job. But before I wrote that story, I wondered just how much I really wanted my co-workers, let alone the public, to know about my family’s personal life. I decided to go ahead and share my brother’s story because I felt it would help others who were in similar situations.

I’ve often used my family and their job search methods for inspiration when writing. I’m pretty open about my own personal life with colleagues at work, but have wondered on more than one occasion whether or not I should have told a particular story. Which brings me to my question:  What does telling personal stories at work say about you and how does it affect others’ perceptions of you?

I’ve come to the conclusion, that although some stories are OK to share in the workplace, others are best left to be shared with close friends and family members outside the office.

So, if you’re trying to move up the career ladder, present yourself as a professional, or simply be seen as a dependable, hard working employee, inappropriate stories about your fun-filled weekend or fights with your spouse are not the types of topics you want to discuss with your teammates.

Have you shared too much and not realized it until it was too late? Did it affect your work relationships or your career? What kind of stories have you heard in the workplace that you felt were inappropriate? Leave your comments in the section below.