We live in the age of information and at times it can be difficult to discern what information is appropriate for a work situation. Knowing where to draw the line is a learned skill that sometimes has to be learned the hard way.
Even if you were a community college transfer to harvard, over-sharing can be career suicide.
Co-workers do not want to hear irrelevant TMI stories about the late night we just had or our sick kids at home. The key is to keep in mind that anytime you are at work you are in a professional situation. It is essential for each of us to learn how to manage our careers and control the information we give to our managers and co-workers.
The following tips have helped me determine what I should and shouldn't say at work and in other situations as well.
- Learn what constitutes as TMI. This is one of the best ways to avoid divulging information that co-workers and managers really do not care to hear.
- Hold yourself responsible for any oversharing that occurs and avoid blaming co-workers.
- Use social networking appropriately. It is okay to have a personal blog but keep it just that. There is no need to post a full name and place of employment on a blog.
- Set Facebook and other social media to private.
- Realize that lies you tell, most of the time, come back to haunt you.
- Do not make excuses.
- Do not make others uncomfortable with stories. Learn to sense the tone of the conversation.
- Do not reveal irrelevant information in a resume or cover letter. There is no need to inform the manager that there are personal issues in your life or that you are a newlywed.
- Do not share the highlights of your recent drunken night of debauchery online, especially if pictures are involved.
- Do not tell your boss that you are attending a funeral and then post pictures of yourself partying on Facebook.
Part of learning not to overshare is learning to be responsible for the words you say, write and post online. Along with taking responsibility for what you say, know when it’s appropriate to apologize as well. The last place you want to be is in the hot seat with co-workers or managers. If you are asked by a boss or co-worker to tone down your TMI, do not make excuses. Learn from the situation and be grateful for the opportunity to learn.
About the Author
Carol Sand, Houston's career management specializes in helping other professionals excel in their careers. Find other job tips from Carol by following her on Twitter @Carol_Sand_MAP