Ask LH: Should I Tell My Colleagues About My Self-Improvement Plans?

Ask LH: Should I Tell My Colleagues About My Self-Improvement Plans?

Dear LH, I work as a consultant in a small firm with a close-knit team, who are also my friends. I am currently in the process of doing online courses in my own time to boost my skills. Should I feel guilty about the fact I haven’t mentioned this to anyone in my team? My CEO does know, and it has scored me some good points with her. I am not keeping it a big secret; I am just not advertising it. Am I being a bad friend? Thanks, Cloak And Dagger

Self-improvement picture from Shutterstock

Dear CAD,

Did your work reimburse you for any of the costs? If not, this is an entirely personal endeavor that has nothing to do with your colleagues; regardless of how close you all are. What you choose to do in your own time is nobody’s business but your own.

Trying to get ahead at work is an accepted part of life. Everything from the clothes you wear to the way you interact with your boss involves some degree of calculation (otherwise we’d all wear tracksuit pants to work and treat annoying superiors with the derision they deserve). Enrolling in a self-improvement course is really no different.

It’s not like you’re trying to back-stab or undercut anyone. Your friends have the ability to enrol in self-improvement courses too if they want. The only way this could cause issues is if you were deliberately evasive or got caught out in a lie. As long as you remain honest, we can’t imagine anyone objecting to your extracurricular activities. In short, you’re not being a bad friend. Relax!

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • Also there are some benefits to it – I remember a lifehacker article a while ago about how you shouldn’t share your resolutions or goals with friends because psychologically you can feel like you’ve already received the benefit of completing – friends being impressed and proud of you and such – before actually completing things, which can reduce your motivation apparently.

    • It can work the other way too though – once you’ve told someone you’re gonna do something, they can hold you accountable and it’d be embarrassing to back out.

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