I have a friend who has recently got fired from her job. Her name is Rebecca, she is a qualified marketer, and she had been working for one company for 11 years. She was dedicated to her job.
So how it happened that Rebecca lost her job? The official reason was “a violation of corporate policy” – a policy that had never been clearly designated.
But what was an actual reason?
Rebecca’s evaluations during her first ten years had been impeccable. But last year, her 13-year-old son had developed behavioral issues. Rebecca had no other options but to use her personal and sick time to care about her child. She is an open person, so she had never hidden from her boss the reason for her absenteeism.
To this day, Rebecca is pretty certain that she was dismissed because of a high absenteeism rate and because her boss was aware of her son’s drug issues. Her boss was just looking for a suitable reason to fire her.
Workplace discrimination is illegal, but still, it takes place in big and small organizations. And the worst thing is that in some cases, bosses do not understand they discriminate their employees – they do it subconsciously.
I don’t want to lose my job the way my friend did. So I decided to assess my own situation. And guess what? Now I wish my boss didn’t know certain things about my personal life and my beliefs.
Here are five things my boss (unfortunately) knows about me. That probably won’t cost me a job, but may decrease my chances of getting salary raises or promotions.
My Religion (or Lack Thereof)
I am an atheist, and my boss is a strong Christian. At the last office party, I discussed my attitudes toward spirituality and religion very openly, and now I wonder whether it will harm my career.
Will my boss give me a promotion if he knows that I do not support his beliefs?
It feels like I made a big mistake. I wish I could turn back time and prevent myself from talking that much about my atheistic views and arguing with religious co-workers.
My Spouse’s Income
My husband is a partner of a law firm, so it’s not that hard to guess that our family has a rather high monthly income.
Yesterday I had been chatting with my colleagues and my boss. I told them how proud I am for my husband’s professional achievements.
I think it was a bad idea to share so openly about my husband’s success. My boss may presuppose that I don’t “need” a salary raise because my husband is rich. Even though I am the most qualified expert in my team, it’s highly likely that my desired promotion will go to one of my co-workers who are experiencing financial problems.
My “Second” Job
I do some freelance work on the side – I provide writing help at GetGoodGrade and popular freelance platforms for clients who desperately need my assistance. I do it not because I’m not satisfied with my “first” job, and not because I need the money. I’m just passionate about writing, and I do like to help people.
During the last meeting, I spilled the beans about my freelance job. Now I am preoccupied that my boss may think that I am not giving my “all” to the project.
I hope my company never adopts a policy against moonlighting. Otherwise, my boss will have to discuss aspects of my “second” job with me.
Why didn’t I keep my mouth shut? Now I have to worry about the fact that my freelancing job could become a big issue.
My Political Affiliation
I am fond of politics, and I do like to discuss my views and my political affiliation with people. I use my Facebook page as a platform to support my favorite political party.
Unfortunately, my boss, as well as most of my colleagues, has completely opposite political views. I wonder whether it might influence my boss’s decision about an upcoming promotion.
I Was in Therapy Once
I think there is nothing wrong with going to therapy. I was in therapy once, and I know how helpful it can be. I support everyone who is brave enough to admit that he needs help from a qualified counselor.
However, I know that there is still a stigma attached to this in the minds of many. What if my boss is one of those people who have negative attitudes toward employees who are seeking mental health treatment?
What if my boss worries that I might become unstable and disrupt the project we are working on? That may affect my career in a bad way.
Now I Know What I Should Never Reveal Again
My friend’s experience has opened my eyes to the possible issues that may ruin my career. If I get a job at another company, I know what topics I will never discuss with my new boss and co-workers.