WORKPLACE / NOV. 08, 2015
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11 Things Your Boss Shouldn't Know About You

No matter how cool or casual your office environment is, it’s still a place that’s all work and no play (or not that much play). The same goes for your boss. They’re the top of the food chain and the one person that you need to impress. And even if your boss is super friendly and feels like one of the team, or even feels like a friend, guess what? They’re still your boss, which means that you should treat them as one. Here are the top eleven things your boss should never, ever know about you.

See Also: 5 Reasons You Don’t Succeed At Work

1. You're a Party Animal

Sure, you can spend your Friday and Saturday nights black out drunk at the club or bar or wherever the cool kids are hanging out these days. But you should never tell your boss about it. Think about it: even if your boss claims they’re actually a super fun person and like to let loose on the weekends, you don’t exactly sound all that professional if you admit you love to party, right? Keep your alcohol obsession on the down low and you’ll be able to win your boss over when you want that raise or promotion. After all, your boss’s biggest nightmare is any employees getting super wasted at the annual Christmas party, so that’s a pretty good clue that you shouldn’t appear to be a drunk.

2. You're Left or Right Wing

Politics and business don’t mix. Your boss shouldn’t know who you vote for or what your political leanings are. Picture this scenario if you don’t believe me: your boss is super conservative and you’re super liberal. You’re chatting in the break room at lunch, you’re amazed you’re having a pleasant conversation with your boss, and then you say which political candidate you’re supporting in the upcoming election. If your boss thinks differently than you do, they’re going to give you an extra dirty look and that’s never a good thing. So keep politics out of the office.

3. You're Going Through a Bad Break-Up

Your boss might know if you’re in a serious relationship or are married, but beyond that, they shouldn’t know too much information about your personal or romantic life. Maybe they’ve met your significant other at the company Christmas party if it’s off-site and spouses are allowed. But if you’re going through the worst break-up of your entire life and are coming into work sobbing every single day and spilling your guts to your boss, well, you can guess how well that will go for you.

4. You're Having a Rough Personal Time

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Your boss shouldn’t have to deal with your personal issues. Unfair as it may seem, it’s not considered all that professional to bring your personal problems to the office. Sure, it seems impossible to hide from your boss or even your coworkers that there’s been a death in the family or you’re dealing with an illness. But beyond taking a few days off to deal with your personal crisis, you shouldn’t spill to your boss about how much your life sucks these days or how hard it’s been. Keep things vague when telling your boss you need time off, say you’re fine and thank them for the concern, and move on.

5. You're in Debt

Okay, so you’ve racked up a pretty insane amount of debt lately thanks to the student loans you still haven’t paid off and your shopping addiction. This stuff happens. But your boss shouldn’t hear about it. They’re just going to stop respecting you and thinking that you know what you’re doing at the office, and the last thing you want is for your boss to not think you’re totally capable.

6. You Still Live at Home

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Depending on how old you are, the fact that you still live with your parents in your childhood home is either totally humiliating or just mildly embarrassing. Let’s face it: if you’re old enough to have a full-time job, you’re probably old enough to live on your own. So you don’t want to let this detail slip out when you’re casually chatting with your boss in the kitchen on a Monday morning making coffee. They’ll think you’re too immature to be able to handle taking care of your own apartment. They’ll also wonder why you’re not renting an apartment when they’re paying you.

7. You Can't Handle Pressure

Some people absolutely thrive on work challenges and others are more timid when it comes on to taking on stressful projects. If the latter describes you, guess what? You need to keep that quiet and learn to deal like the grown-up that you supposedly are. Your boss doesn’t want to know that you hide in the bathroom and cry when they ask you to speak to a client or put you in charge of a hugely important project.

8. You Freelance

It’s understood that sometimes employees freelance on top of their Monday to Friday jobs but your boss doesn’t want to hear about it. It makes it seem like you don’t care about your current job and aren’t committed to it at all. You want to look like you’re loyal to the company, don’t you? Unfortunately, even if you have zero intention of quitting, your boss might think you’re going to leave and make your freelance work full-time. So it’s best to keep it quiet.

9. You're Desperately Unhappy at Work

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So your job is making you totally miserable every single day. Your workload is way too high for your liking, you’re stressed to the max and no one bothers to even talk to you. Guess what? You absolutely can’t tell your boss. They don’t care how happy or unhappy your job makes you. All they care about is that you’re being productive.

10. You Want Their Job

You know it’s not a smart idea to tell your boss how much you want their job, and yet a lot of people think it’s no big deal to tell their superior about their career ambitions. Your boss doesn’t care that you want their position… at all. There’s actually nothing they could care less about. Keep this career dream to yourself.

11. You're Looking for Another Job

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Basically, letting your boss know that you’re on the hunt for another position is the kiss of death for your career. You’ll never get a reference letter and they might even fire you on the spot. If you want to change jobs, there’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and you probably have a million good reasons. Just keep your job search super secret and only tell your boss once you have landed another position and can give your two weeks’ notice. After all, what if things go horribly wrong and you’re unable to get hired anywhere else? Then at least you have the safety and financial comfort of your current position.

See Also: How to Make Bad Bosses Appreciate You

Sure you want to be on friendly terms with your boss. But that doesn’t mean that they have to know every little thing about you. Heed our advice and your boss will think that you are a truly marvellous employee.  

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