Can Crying at Work Actually Help Your Career?

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Crying at WorkYour eyes begin to water and that telltale lump starts forming in your throat: Tears will begin to flow any second.

Crying is one of the most obvious and personal betrayals of emotion, and our instinct is usually to suppress tears in a public setting. But, can crying at work actually help your career?

In a recent speech at Harvard Business School, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, advocated for women crying on the job.  She credited some of her success in her career to her openness with her tears and emotions.

Crying can help people understand where you are coming from and relate to you when they see you at your most vulnerable. Tears can also help convey when something is important to you and needs immediate attention.

Perhaps the takeaway from Sandberg’s speech is not necessarily that you should cry all the time, but that it is important to be honest with your co-workers and communicate openly. While tears may sometimes be merited, they may not always be the most effective way of getting across what is on your mind.

We all know what happens to the boy (or girl!) who cries wolf.

If you find yourself constantly on the verge of a breakdown at work, you could be suffering from workplace burnout, which you can take steps to correct.

We want to know: do you think crying at work is helpful or hurtful?

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  • Kate Wachsberger

    While I agree that crying is a very honest portrayal of emotion, I think that it unfortunately enforces the stereotype that women are not in control of their emotions, and hence are unable to make rational decisions. I am strictly anti-crying. I think society views it as a sign of weakness, especially for those of us who are interns or lower-level employees. Maybe once I become COO of some company I can let a few tears loose.