How Workplace Gossip Is Hurting Your Career

Everyone gossips. Even if you say you don’t gossip, you’re lying to yourself because it’s just a natural human behavior of which we’re all guilty. Although some gossiping is fine, and yes, even fun, some of it can be really hurtful, and not just hurtful to the person you’re gossiping about. More importantly, workplace gossip is hurting your career, too. Gossiping at work is the worst kind of gossip, and that’s why you should avoid it like the plague that it is.

  1. It creates bad energy. Gossiping is pretty much bad karma. If you spend your time gossiping about others, it’s only a matter of time before you’re being gossiped about, too.
  2. You look like a troublemaker. Which isn’t entirely a stretch, because anyone who gossips is just basically looking to stir things up a bit.
  3. It will distract from your work. If you spend 50% of your time gossiping and about 40% of your time thinking about gossiping, that leaves you only 10% of your time to actually get some work done.
  4. You’ll make enemies. Talking crap about anyone is the best way to procure enemies in the office. Then, before you know it, you’re not being invited to Happy Hour events and no one wants to go to lunch with you. It’s like high school all over again.
  5. Your boss and fellow coworkers won’t trust you. How could they? Everything they say automatically becomes hot gossip.
  6. You won’t be taken seriously. If your priority is chattering about everyone then no one is going to take to you seriously, because clearly you don’t take your job seriously.
  7. Bad mouthing is really emotionally draining. It sort of like hate ― it takes more energy to hate than it does to love. So by that rationale, it takes more energy to bad mouth than it does to be decent.
  8. You’ll destroy professional relationships. If you’re the gossip queen of the office, it just a matter of time before you talk about everyone behind their back. Then pretty soon you’re treated like a workplace pariah.
  9. You’ll be known as the office snitch. If you’ve ever seen The Godfather or any other mafia related movies, you’ll know that there’s nothing worse than being a snitch.
  10. People will rely on you for gossip. You can forget them relying on you as being a great source for working on strategy or dealing with certain clients. They’ll just rely on you as a source of entertainment.
  11. It’s addictive. In other words, once you get started gossiping, it’s impossible to stop.
  12. Your name will become synonymous with gossip. And to be honest, that’s not a good thing.
  13. You could lose your job over it. It might seem silly, but if your gossiping goes far enough to damage office morale and jeopardize clients, you’ll be out the door so fast. And when you try to get another job, you better believe your profession reference is going to point out why you were fired. So you can kiss that new job goodbye.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.