Three Things Co-workers Should Never Share

By Beth Zefo
Co-author of Grad to Great (Dalidaze Press, 2007)

While it’s true you’ll spend more hours with your colleagues than your friends, there are several reasons to be careful about what you share with co-workers.

1. Salary

Co-workers should absolutely not discuss their salary with their colleagues. Your colleague may be perfectly happy with their current salary…until they learn how much money you’re making that is. This can lead to tensions in the work place that are difficult to resolve once they have surfaced.

2. Desire to Quit Your Job

Don’t share this with the people you work with… unless you want the whole office to know. This type of information is hard to keep quiet, even for the most “loyal” co-workers. The colleague you share this delicate information with might get promoted and be put in a position where they have to make decisions about who to promote and who to lay-off. If this person is aware of your intention to leave the company, guess who isn’t going to be receiving a raise or a promotion? Share your career thoughts with confidants you don’t work with, or just keep it to yourself.

3. Gossip About Other Co-workers

Too much focus on what others are doing means less time to focus on your own job performance. What others do is not your primary concern. Focus on you and your job.

Beth Zefo, co-author of Grad to Great, is a human resources professional with General Motors. She currently supervises over 1100 hourly employees. She has experience organizing career fairs, working with labor unions, salary employees, and college recruits. During her past 10 years with General Motors, she has held various positions in several functional areas including: supply chain management, supplier quality engineering, new product launch, corporate communications, and human resources. Beth graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. from the College of Engineering. She received her MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.