in the direction of truth and love.” - Miguel Ángel Ruiz
“Think Before You Speak”
It’s a phrase that has been used over and over again in various contexts. One that serves as a gentle reminder to put thought into your vocabulary and everyday utterances. I was going to save this idea for a tweet after numerous experiences of open dialogue on public transit.
However, I couldn’t seem to simplify my thoughts into 140 characters. Alas, this post was born.
I’m talking business. Or rather, I’m suggesting for you not to discuss business (publicly,
anyways). As I sit in the subway car, patiently awaiting my destination, I’m struck by the amount of loud, public conversations about horrible bosses and employees that are happening around me. I know as soon as the dialogue gets more in-depth that these are all perfect examples of how to ruin your career. Everyday I’m amazed at how many people openly discuss the details of their Devil-Wears-Prada like careers with the whole world.
Whether you’re at a bar for happy hour, complaining about how your colleague is a backstabber trying to get you fired, or how your boss is a control freak who needs to take a vacation, you never know who is listening. The girl standing next to you could be your boss’s daughter. The man sitting behind you could in fact be the owner of the firm you work at, you’ve just never met him. After your 15-minute post-work rant on Friday afternoon, let me ask you this: do you have a job on Monday morning? Probably not.
This post isn’t meant to criticize or judge anyone that has needed to let out some frustration to another caring individual willing to listen. Rightfully, you are entitled to your own opinions.
However, it is a gentle reminder to be aware of your surroundings. There is a time and a place to discuss these matters, and public isn’t one of them. While these things might be true, be mindful of the fact that these could, essentially, get back to your place of employment and
destroy your career. Try to make a habit of waiting until you are back home to let out your frustrations.
This also applies to discussions regarding financial matters of the company you work for. Most of the information you’re divulging in public might in fact be confidential. This idea aligns itself with “think before you tweet.” The same principle applies. Before you openly discuss matters that could in fact be controversial, think about whom your audience is, and whether or not you want to jeopardize the career you’ve built.