Many teens are surprised to find that the workplace can have quite a bit in common with high school. After all, you have to be in a certain place at a certain time, other people tell you what to do, and there is always some form of busy work that needs to be done. Jobs for teens may resemble school in other ways, too. For example, many work places are home to a lot of gossip. Keeping yourself out of this loop will not only make you more productive at work, but it will say a lot about your character, as well.
Just because there are certain “teen jobs” that seem to attract younger employees doesn’t mean that other places of work don’t have to deal with gossip. In fact, it is a huge problem in all types of companies, from retail stores to law offices. It makes sense when you think about it, as several people are more or less forced to be around each other for hours on end, whether they like each other or not. Even the best of friends can begin to irritate each other in such close quarters.
Some companies have actual policies regarding office gossip, and if you get too caught up in the drama, it can affect your position. Not only that, but the added stress that comes from talking about others or being talked about can make your job even harder. One of the best ways to keep yourself on the right track is to simply refuse to get sucked into the gossip mill. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Here are a few tips that can help teens avoid gossip on the job:
Tip #1: Be polite but firm. When someone gossips to you, tell them nicely that you’d rather not talk about that topic and then move the conversation back to a work-related subject.
Tip #2: Never repeat gossip. While you can’t always avoid hearing the latest rumor, you can absolutely refuse to repeat it. Once people see that you are above the gossip, they’ll be less likely to bother you with it.
Tip #3: Break old patterns. If you have found yourself caught up in gossip, it’s not too late to change your behavior. This will require you to implement the first two tips and may also even involve finding a new group of people to associate with at work.
For many working teens, gossip just seems to come along with the job. You will make yourself look (and feel) better if you focus on the job itself and avoid getting caught up in the rumors and backstabbing.