7 things successful people never reveal about themselves at work

Success is defined by the things we do, right?

Wrong! (Well, only partially.)

While a great deal of our success comes from our actions, it also comes from the things we say.

Being successful at work isn’t just about acting right. It’s about protecting your professional image.

And one of the best ways to do this is to avoid revealing certain things about yourself – even if they’re true!

Let’s explore the 7 things successful people never reveal about themselves at work.

1) Social media handles

One of the most important things you don’t reveal about yourself at work if you want to get ahead are your social media handles.

This is particularly the case if you share lots of personal stuff online or anything that your employers may not be too keen on.

In the modern world of work, what you post online can be seen as a reflection of your employer.

So if you post a joke about napping while working from home, it can reflect badly on the company you work at.

Recent statistics have shown that almost half of employers check what their employees are up to on social media.

So giving your social media away, especially your private stuff, is not recommended.

The only reason you should give your social media handles is if it’s relevant to your workplace and it’s “employer-friendly”.

I.e., there’s nothing you’ve posted that’s critical about your job, incriminating, or raises questions about your work ethic.

2) Too much detail about personal life

If you’re successful at work, you’re probably good with people.

In other words, you can make easy conversation with your colleagues, bosses, clients, etc.

But you’d never share too much detail about what’s going on in your personal life.

Like if you had a big argument with your partner that morning or if you have an ongoing riff with your brother-in-law.

While trash-talking your other half or family members may feel good, it’s not something your boss or colleagues really want to hear about.

Plus, venting about how annoying it is that your partner has started cycling can come across as unprofessional.

It can even seem offensive if someone else at work (like your boss) is a massive cyclist.

Instead, keep things professional and save the ranting and raving for your trusted circle of friends.

3) Traumatic past experiences

Talking through your issues is important, especially with people you trust.

As is being open and honest about things that impact your professional working life.

But there’s no need to reveal your trauma to everyone.

While some people in your personal life will be receptive to you being honest about your traumatic past, many people in the workplace may find it a tad inappropriate.

And, unfortunately, they’d be right.

Because unless you’re sharing it for a specific reason, it can impact the way people feel about you – and not in a good way.

4) Irrelevant failures

Honesty is an important trait to have in the workplace.

Owning up to your mistakes and apologizing for them, especially if someone else is about to unknowingly take the fall, shows true integrity – a trait many employers value.

However, one thing successful people never reveal about themselves is any mistake that’s irrelevant to the here and now.

Like if your boss offers you a space on a training course and it’s one you failed miserably in your last job – there’s no need to mention this fact.

Instead, try harder this time and hope for a stronger outcome.

Or if a new boss invites you to pitch at the next meeting, and with your last boss you screwed up big time, they don’t know that, so don’t tell them.

Reflect on your mistakes from last time and do better at this meeting.

Telling people about your failures will make them remember your failures, too – which isn’t what you want when you’re trying to get ahead.

So, if it’s not relevant, best to keep quiet.

Related: 11 phrases naturally confident people use all the time

5) Deepest, darkest insecurities

Talking about your deepest, darkest insecurities should be reserved for certain occasions.

Like with a close friend, partner, or therapist.

It’s not something you should share with your colleagues or your boss.

To be seen as a leader and a good employee at work, you want to appear confident in yourself and your abilities.

Even if your inner critic tells you how bad you are at public speaking, telephone calls, or networking at a business event – don’t tell your boss or colleagues this.

It can make them view you differently, and not in a good way.

This is especially important to avoid sharing if you want to climb the ladder one day.

The only time you should talk about things like this is if you’re in a development meeting.

And when you do reveal them, ensure you frame your insecurities as “developments” and talk about them productively.

Like saying, “I’d like to develop my public speaking skills and attend more business pitches”.

Rather than saying, “I’m terrible at public speaking”.

6) Bad personal habits

Successful people know that their “work image” is very, very important.

So, if this is you, you always put your best foot forward when at work.

That means you don’t talk about any bad habits you have in your personal life.

Like how much of a procrastinator you are when it comes to doing laundry. Or how disorganized you are every time you plan a trip.

You especially don’t talk about your punctuality issues.

While your boss may not see these traits in you now (and you may not display them in work), these things will stick in their heads.

They may start trusting you less with the important stuff. Or keeping a close eye on your punctuality when you’re working remotely.

Instead, successful people at work protect their image.

Even if they’re always late in their personal life but on time for work, they don’t share this information with their boss.

Related: 11 things that genuinely confident people never do (so you shouldn’t either)

7) Finances (especially any financial issues from their past)

There should be absolutely no reason at all you’d need to share details about your finances or any financial issues you have at work.

Unless you’re requesting a raise or having a very private chat with your boss about something relevant to work, talking about your finances is a big no-no for successful people.

Hearing about how bad you are with your money in your personal life and how much debt you’re in may seem like harmless chit-chat.

But best believe your boss won’t ever trust you with the budget or company card.

Likewise, flaunting how much money you have and what your latest purchases are will only alienate your colleagues.

And it may not gain you much respect – especially from anyone who earns less than you.

Successful people know that humility is a good trait to have in the workplace (and life in general).

So they avoid conversations about their finances unless it’s absolutely essential.

Final thoughts

Successful people are successful for a reason. They take care of their image at work and keep their private life and work life relatively separate.

People at work can take the things you say very literally – especially your boss.

And you never know when something harmless you’ve shared about yourself or your home life could come back to bite you!

Luckily, avoiding these topics of conversation can keep you covered and help you be more successful in your career.


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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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