6 things you should never talk about at the office

Don’t tank your office reputation by oversharing. Learn what topics to avoid in the office and how to stay professional while still being friendly.


1. Unnecessary or irrelevant work problems

Nobody has the perfect workday. Especially when you’re starting out at an internship or a first job, mistakes and hiccups are inevitable. It’s important to vocalize only the problems that require outside help. That way your coworkers know it’s serious. If you’re always complaining about how things work at the office, nobody will know when to take you seriously. Don’t be the one who cries wolf.


2. Your coworkers

Gossip is the easiest way to tarnish your workplace reputation. Even if you have coworkers that rub you the wrong way, keep it to yourself (unless, of course, it’s a serious problem, you’re in personal danger, or something like that). Talking badly about your coworkers is also just a negative and unhelpful thing to do – why spread bad energy throughout the office?


3. Deeply personal issues

Even as your coworkers become your friends, it’s important to maintain boundaries. Revealing personal problems or serious issues, especially during office hours, may make your coworkers uncomfortable. Deeply personal issues should be saved for your inner circle of friends – not your office mates. If something very serious happens, there is an appropriate time to tell your coworkers, especially your boss, in a private space.


topics to avoid in the office


4. Your daily complaints

There’s no need to moan about your commute, your neighbors or any other personal problems. Everybody has their own problems and they don’t need to deal with yours on top of their own. You’re spreading negativity and a bad attitude to the people around you.


5. Your boss

Talking about your coworkers is bad. Talking about your boss is even worse. If you have an issue with your manager, there are appropriate communication channels available where you can address it.


topics to avoid in the office


6. Your love life

In general, leave romance and your romantic life at the door before you enter the office. Although there’s no need to keep a secret about who you’re dating or whatever your situation is, going into details about a hot date may not be appreciated by all members of your team. More conservative colleagues may be made uncomfortable.



Apply now to boost your career with an internship abroad. And make sure to steer clear of these 6 topics to avoid in the office!




1. based on NEC-Monitor-203, by Photo by NEC Corporation of America, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Alec Ross and Emily Banks at the AMCHAM reception in Auckland, August 31, 2012, by US Embassy, CC-by-ND 2.0

3. based on Photos for Creative Commons, by Photo by NEC Corporation of America, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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