One of the things that many mystery shoppers just love about mystery shopping is that they get to earn a living “under cover.” The job involves walking into various different types of establishments and secretly fulfilling missions like interacting with employees, trying on clothes, checkout out the cleanliness of the facility, tasting various types of food, and more, all without letting the employees or other customers know that you have a secret agenda. It can be quite thrilling to carry on your secret mission, and this is one of the reasons so many mystery shoppers happily complete assignment after assignment.
While some mystery shoppers cherish the fact that they work in secret, others just cannot help telling a few of their closest friends and family members how they are spending their free time. Some even make their job public knowledge amongst their entire circle of friends. However, the fact is that this isn’t entirely a great idea, and before you blab, you may want to think twice.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen? There are many reasons why you shouldn’t talk about your job. For one thing, friends and family may work at those establishments where you perform your assignments. If they don’t, they actually could know people who do. It’s a pretty small world out there, and it can be downright surprising how many people you meet who know people who you also know. Of course the other aspect to consider is that you have a contractual obligation with most providers you work with to not reveal certain information such as which clients those providers work with. Simply saying, “I’m a mystery shopper,” isn’t going to break that contractual obligation. However, when you bring up this topic, it inevitably opens you up to a lot of questions that you may not want to answer.
Who Can You Tell? You may be thinking about only telling your spouse, your kids, or your best friend. This close circle of people are those who you know and trust explicitly, but because you know them so well, you likely also know exactly how big of a mouth they have. Consider if they tell someone who they know and trust, and that person tells someone who they know and trust….Now consider if these are people who are mere acquaintances of you and who absolutely know your name and face, but who you would never trust. It may sound like a lot of “what ifs,” but the fact is that people really do talk a lot. Gossip can really hurt you as a mystery shopper, and so only want to tell those people who you absolutely trust
When You Do Tell. While you may understand the importance of telling only a select group of people how you are earning your extra money, those who you choose to tell likely don’t understand what the big secret is at all. They may simply think you have an interesting job and want to share that with others. This is especially true if they know someone who may be in need of some extra cash, as they may share the details of this job simply because they want to help out and not to be gossipy at all. Whatever the intentions are, you simply don’t want people talking about this. So make sure that whoever you do tell knows exactly how talking about your job can hurt you.
Now when a friend or family member does know how you make your money, they may even want to tag along sometimes. This is the upside of talking about your job, as it can give you a shopping buddy who you can take along with you on assignments from time to time!