I was told that, when talking about your work with friends, one should never say anything negative about job. Is that true?

I think it might be really weird if one says everything is fine if they see some evidence that something is wrong at the work place. Could one get fired if he or she is honest and tell something that might effect the work place in negative way?

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    Hi juniorworker. I've edited your post to correct what I believed was a mistake (wrong sentence), and make it more clear. Please let us know if it's ok with out, and feel free to edit it yourself or roll it back. – OldPadawan Jul 21 '18 at 8:28
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    Do you work with this person? Are you sure this person is a friend if you're scared they'll do something to get you fired? – Dukeling Jul 21 '18 at 8:38

General rule of thumb is to separate work and personal life as much as possible. Friends can come and go or become enemies and you just never know if an innocent enough sentence spoken in confidence can come back to bite you.

As well as the above, projecting a positive outlook on life actually makes your life more positive and issues less important. Life is too short to be ranting about everything. Being with friends is about having a good time and many people will avoid acquaintances who are constantly complaining or having dramas they have nothing to do with.


Could one get fired if he or she is honest and tell something that might effect the work place in negative way?

If you occasionally tell your friends during a session of "what strange things happened at work this week" you are not likely to get in trouble.

But if you post it on social media, and management sees it. Now you have a different problem. Especially if it is easy to identify the company, or the work place, or the manager. I have known people that forgot that among the many people that can see their posts are members of management. They found themselves in a very awkward position the next day at work.


It all depends on the situation. Anything with the word "never" in it is usually not quite right.

In your personal life, permanently moaning about your job is not good for you. It is better for you personally if you try to see the positive sides of your job, go to work with the intent to enjoy it. Even if you just pretend to like it, eventually things improve and you experience the job as nicer than before. Of course that's not "never say anything negative" but "try to have a positive attitude".

Or say I'm one of your friends, and there is a job opening at my company that would be suitable for you. If I think there are problems at your job I might tell you or recommend you. If I think you have a negative attitude and I don't want this to reflect badly on me, then I might not.

On the other hand, if something bad happens at your job, then asking friends about advice how to handle it is often a good idea. Or posting your problems here (anonymously) may help. So "never say anything negative" is clearly wrong.

What's dangerous is talk to people if things can get back to your company - or worse post on social media. That has happened to people in the UK: Posting "I hate my job" on Facebook can mean that your manager tells you that since you hate your job so much, they will let you find a job elsewhere (and in the UK, with a lot more protection for employees than the USA, this was legal).

And obviously don't post anything negative that could create liability for your company. Look at it from the employer's point of view: Would you want to employ that person? If you post on Facebook "I think my company ripped off customer XYZ", even if that is your honest opinion, it's something that you should have told your boss who could either fix it, or tell you why you are wrong, while posting it on Facebook might cause an expensive lawsuit, or lost customers. If you were the employer, would you like that?

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