5 details you shouldn’t share with Human Resources (HR)

A lot of people have lost their jobs today because they felt the need to over share. Maintaining a good relationship with your colleagues is one thing being overtly chatty is another. There are details about your life that you should not share at your work place and especially not with your HR personnel or department. Some people don’t start off with the intention of being chatty rather they try to use those details as an excuse (either to take time off or to cover up for inadequacies).

Be aware of the fact that HR has the ability to influence your job in the form of promotion/demotion and retrenchment/retention. In simpler terms, HR determines to a large extent whether you keep your job or lose it. Another fact you should be aware of is that people don’t just take your words at face value. Your words have a way of reflecting on your person (character). Whatever information you share with HR has a direct implication on their perception of you and your work ethics ultimately affecting the life span of your job with that company.

Here are 5 details you shouldn’t share with Human Resources (HR) that could be regarded as over sharing and how HR interprets them;

  • “my husband and I are trying for a baby”

HR is probably going to wish you well and congratulate you but the message has been passed and it was not passed the way you said it more like this “in a couple of months I’ll need to leave on maternity”. They’ll automatically start cutting down on responsibilities given to you. If you were being considered for promotion they might have to put it on hold because they think being pregnant and having babies would be a huge distraction for you.

  • my sister in-law and I don’t see eye to eye”

Be it your sister in-law, your spouse, your neighbor or anyone else; HR really shouldn’t have to find out that you are unable to handle your personal life. Saying that you are on a family dispute, regardless of how faultless you are in the matter, may sway HR to think that you are unable to play in a team and will influence their decisions with regard to your job.

  • my former boss was so mean, thank God I quit that job”

At the time you’re making this statement or any similar one that puts your ex-boss in a bad light, you are blissfully unaware that it also puts you in a bad light. Desist from making derogatory statements about your former boss. it shouldn’t come up in any discussion at your work place especially if it is about a conflict you both had.

HR will listen to you while thinking about how rebellious and defiant to authority you are. Needless to say, this will be affecting your job one way or the other.

  • I started a small business, nothing big, just a small thing I can do at home”

No matter how many times you reiterate the word small, what HR can hear is “I’ve gotten something of my own so I don’t need this job anymore”. The fact that you have a side gig makes HR assume that you are distracted and unfocused. Whenever you come late to work or ask for a few days leave for health reasons, they’ll automatically think you’re simply making time for ‘your’ business. They begin to question your commitment to your job.

  • I need some time off, to attend a funeral”- and it’s a lie

A lot of people make up different excuses to get some days off work. It’s funny how people want to bury their already buried relatives again. It’s all fine and dandy but HR should never find out that you lied. They probably won’t call you out on it but your credibility would have gone down the drain.

There really is no need to tell HR more than they need to know. You need o understand workplace relationship and maintain it. If it didn’t happen at work, there really is no need to share it. Keep your conversations polite, brief and work related. HR is not your girlfriend with whom you can share “gossip” so keep your ‘latest gist’ at home to avoid adverse consequences on your job.


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