Be Careful Bitching At Work

Work can be frustrating. It is easy to vent to coworkers since they are right there and probably best understand what you are going through. However, I recommend venting to someone outside of work. Why? It’s best for you long term but may not feel as great in the short term.

When I have seen coworkers bitch about a manager or another employee it inevitably gets back to that person. This sows seeds of resentment in the team and damages 1 on 1 relationship.

However, this is much easier said than done. I understand how easy it is to vent to peers about mutual frustrations. It can even feel as if it is creating a bond or trust. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way it is not in your best interest.

The Mistake

Years back when I first started in a new role I was assigned a “buddy.” It was a peer in the program so I could ask him questions that perhaps I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking management. We became good friends and would passionately expression or frustrations about things at work. Fast forward, a couple of years and after a massive reorganization this person is my new manager.

One day, we are having a tense discussion about my career development. I expressed to him that I’m confident I can take the next step and be a field sales rep. But he disagreed. He began to cite things I said to him in confidence. I was livid. I felt that he was being a hypocrite since he actively engaged in these conversations with me. However, since then I have taken ownership of it, swallowed my pride and presented a plan to address the perceived deficiencies.

The Lesson

Moral of the story, be careful who you confide in at work. Learn from my mishap of being careless with my words. Call an old friend, family member, significant other, or a random person on the street. But don’t bitch to your coworkers.


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