5 Things I Wish My Boss Didn’t Know About Me

By Jessica Fender

Posted 3 months agoOTHER

what you should not tell to your boss

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.

And now comes the crucial part: how to not reveal all your ‘secrets’ to your boss and colleges when drunk… You know, these office parties, are sometimes too much exciting 😉

How to Survive Your Office Holiday Party

Karl stands so close to you when he’s talking that you can taste what he had for breakfast.

Linda leaves her food in the breakroom refrigerator until it starts to move.

Samir always seems to finish off the coffee pot, but never seems to get another one started…

These, or others much like them, are your coworkers. They are the people that you see when you don’t get to see the people that you want to see, in the place that you go when you don’t get to go where you want to go. In short, they aren’t your friends; they’re your colleagues.

Approximately half of U.S. employees dislike their coworkers, and even if you are the exception and get along with your coworkers famously from 9 to 5, there’s a good chance that once the quitting bell rings, you’re perfectly content to leave that relationship in the office with your eight bosses and that unfinished stack of TPS reports.

So, it makes perfect sense that you’d want to celebrate the holidays with these people.

Holiday office parties are a unique phenomenon. They are the crowning event that tops off the rest of the year’s office interactions, and like a single acorn that may grow into a mighty oak, they contain within them the seed-like potential to completely destroy any semblance of the respect and professionalism that the company has spent the last 11 months attempting to repair.

Want to make sure your coworkers take your next presentation on “Synergizing 110 percent to Reach New Thought Leader Paradigms” seriously? Then the best way to do it is probably not by downing a case of boxed wine in front of everyone and karaokeing “Rock You Like a Hurricane” while sitting pantless on the printer. After all, the company party may be about having a good time, but every other day in the work year is

After all, the company party may be about having a good time, but every other day in the work year is about not being thought of as a complete jackass. That having been said, 78 percent of employees see it as an important part of company culture, and those who simply neglect to attend the annual holiday shindig can come off as withdrawn, or worse, not a team player.

What’s an employee to do?

Never fear. From mildly embarrassing to career-ending, we’ve distilled America’s holiday party mistakes down into this helpful list of five holiday party survival tips. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with it, and you won’t have any trouble getting through the least anticipated party of the year.

1. Don’t: Get Plastered

We know what you’re thinking: How can I have fun at a party if I’m not imbibing copious amounts hootch? Well, let us explain. First of all, no one calls it ‘hootch’ anymore. Secondly, while getting blackout drunk may be a fine and wholesome way to spend an evening with friends and family, remember what we said about your coworkers back in the intro? They’re not your friends.

No matter how your company may dress it up, the truth is that the company party is not a social function; it’s a business function. That means that whatever you do at the party could have a lasting impact on your job. Is that unfair? Sure, but it’s also just the way it is. And while being a bit tipsy in and of itself may not be the worst thing that you can do at a company holiday party, the ‘Devil’s drink’ has a tendency to lead you directly to some of the ‘worst

No matter how your company may dress it up, the truth is that the company party is not a social function; it’s a business function. That means that whatever you do at the party could have a lasting impact on your job. Is that unfair? Sure, but it’s also just the way it is. And while being a bit tipsy in and of itself may not be the worst thing that you can do at a company holiday party, the ‘Devil’s drink’ has a tendency to lead you directly to some of the ‘worst thing you can do’ scenarios pretty quickly. 

The good news is that this may not even be an issue in your company, as approximately 40 percent of organizations are choosing not to offer alcohol at company holiday parties, and of those that are serving alcohol, approximately 70 percent are choosing to regulate employee alcohol consumption through the use of drink tickets. 

Of course, that means that you probably won’t get to watch the head of HR pole-dance around the Christmas tree, which might otherwise have been the highlight of the evening.

2. Do: Be Social

Look, we get that trying to have a good time while under the constant glare of upper management is not the most entertaining situation you could find yourself in, but hiding isn’t the answer. Because just as letting loose and making an ass of yourself can hurt your work reputation, so too can sequestering yourself away and refusing to socialize. And don’t think that you can just stick with the rest of the people on your team, either.

If you don’t get out there and mingle with people from other departments (and even some of your bosses), people are going to think of you as withdrawn and introverted. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Of course not. In fact, coworkers love introverts. Specifically, they love dumping extra assignments and responsibilities on their heads.

If you don’t get out there and mingle with people from other departments (and even some of your bosses), people are going to think of you as withdrawn and introverted. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Of course not. In fact, coworkers love introverts. Specifically, they love dumping extra assignments and responsibilities on their heads.

In fact, coworkers love introverts. Specifically, they love dumping extra assignments and responsibilities on their heads. What introverts don’t generally have dumped on them are promotions, however. So, if you want to climb that corporate ladder, climb out of your chair and rub some elbows. As we’ve said: Office holiday parties are business functions, plain and simple, so you might as well go do some networking. Just try to discuss topics other than work, when possible.

3. Don’t: Be the Office Clown

A light-up bow tie? A bit of vodka in the punch bowl? Inappropriate jokes at the expense of others!? Man oh man, it looks like this party is about to get off the hook. But in all seriousness, don’t be that guy. Don’t make the party about your crusade to get Brandon from accounting to finally crack a smile, or to bring quiet old Cherlynn out of her shell. The best parties are the ones in which everyone in attendance feels comfortable, and is able to have a good time at their own pace.

As funny as your antics may be to you, we’re going to suggest that they’re nothing but painfully awkward for everyone else. And if you think that your bosses wouldn’t orchestrate your termination just to save everyone from having to experience your bumbling humor in years to come, you’d better think again. And that’s assuming that none of your jokes cross the line—if coworkers feel as though your pranks are really personal attacks, then you had better be prepared for some serious repercussions.

27 percent of Americans have claimed to have suffered abusive conduct while in the workplace, and a whopping 72 percent are aware that it happens, so you can bet that there won’t be many people trying to defend your right to make fun of someone’s religion or body type (or anything else). Most of the other attendees are probably just hoping to get through the evening with a modicum of dignity intact. Give it to them. In fact, think of it as your holiday gift to the rest of the company—it will be much more appreciated than your wildly offensive impression of Frank from the mailroom.

4. Do: Dress Work-Appropriately

You want to have a good time. You want to kick up your feet. You want to let it all hang out. But don’t really let it all hang out, because the same people that are getting an eyeful of your goods at the office holiday party are the ones that you’ll be having to maintain some level of professionalism with once the party is over. 

Dressing provocatively has it’s place, and a bit of cleavage, some thigh, or even just some tight clothing can sometimes help draw attention when it’s needed. It’s just that the company holiday party is not the place for it. A good rule of thumb is this: If you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing your outfit in the office, then don’t wear it to the party, because they’re basically the same thing. 

A 2014 survey indicates that appearance is the second most important indication of professionalism in the workplace, and any damage you do to your professional reputation at the holiday party is going to follow you back to your desk come Monday. If you’d like to show off how nice your body is, then more power to you, just try to do it in a way that is classy rather than sleazy. If, on the other hand, you’ve come to the office party looking for a bit of naughty and nice, then let’s rush you on down to our final holiday party tip.

5. Don’t, Under Any Circumstances: Sleep With a Coworker

We hate to come off as a bunch of killjoys, but here we go: Don’t have sex with any of your co-workers at the office party. Just don’t do it. There may be alcohol flowing.

You might suddenly realize just how nice Pat from accounting is looking this evening. It could even be nothing more than a fun spur-of-the-moment fling that you both agree to forget about as soon as you’re done. But you won’t forget, and neither will anyone else who finds out about. And, aside from being the kind of awkward indiscretion that can ruin reputations, derail business relationships, and give gossip mongers enough ammunition to outlast your career, there’s a good chance that it’s also against company policy, and could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Besides, sneaking away to the intern room to get all tangled up on cheap office furniture isn’t nearly as ‘magical’ of an experience as you might hope. If Karl, Linda, and Samir annoy you in the office, then can you really expect better results in bed? When partying with your company, the only sack you should be trying to get into is the one carried by Santa. That reminds us, there are certain things you should know about holiday white elephant gift exchanges.



About the author Jessica Fender

Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.