Whether you work at a full-time job in an office or freelance around the clock, chances are, your boss or client will eventually learn about you and things about you that may be unrelated to the job.
Basic information like sharing you’re a huge fan of the beach is not a problem. Plus, it could be a light conversation topic at a work luncheon. As for how you voted in the last presidential election, well, that’s where things may get heated. It’s fine to reveal certain things about yourself as long as they’re in the neutral zone.
As mentioned in a piece on Salary.com, political affiliation is just one of the items you shouldn’t discuss with your boss. Here are three others…
1. Your religious affiliation. Tara M. Clapper wrote in the piece, “It’s against the law to discriminate against religious beliefs, but talking about religion too often at work is inappropriate (unless you work for a religious organization).”
Use common sense. It’s one thing to mention an interesting anecdote at the watercooler that touches upon the fact you went to church or synogogue over the weekend but if you’re quoting the Bible in your out-of-office reply on Outlook, it’s time to rethink things.
2. Your night life. Social life. Love life. All of the above. A little hungover? Keep it to yourself. Marital problems at home? Speak to a counselor, not your boss. Your boss shouldn’t know details about your personal life, end of story. If you’re taking classes in your field that’s fine; work-related things are not a big deal to share.
She explained, “If you can’t complete an after-hours work task due to a hot date or helping kids with homework, it’s best to simply indicate that you have other obligations at home. Keep the personal drama at home.”
3. Your freelance work outside the office. If you have a side gig — whether it’s copy editing a start-up’s Web site or waitressing — keep your lips sealed. If it’s impacting your performance, your boss could “easily point the finger at the time and energy you’re spending working at the second job.”
Let your performance at the day job stand on its own merit. Plus, you wouldn’t want salary review conversations to center around giving you a smaller increase because you have income flowing from another source. Again, it’s prudent to keep it under wraps.