When friends ask you what you do for a living, should you tell them you are a mystery shopper? There are many different aspects to consider before you jump in with a firm yes or no response. Certainly nobody wants to lie straight out to friends, but there may be several reasons to consider keeping your job as a mystery shopper a secret.
Consider the Consequences. There are several outcomes that could stem from you revealing to your friends that you are a mystery shopping. A large number of your friends could be intrigued by the ability to get paid to shop, to dictate your own work schedule, and all of the other many factors that originally drew you to mystery shopping. You may initially think it’s fun to have your friends mystery shopping, too, giving you someone you know to share stories with. However, consider that they will also be your competition for jobs in your own area. The more mystery shoppers there are in your area, the less likely you are to get all of the assignments you want.
Another possibility is that your friends may work in a store or other venue that you are assigned to shop at, which would make you ineligible for the job. Or perhaps a friend who knows your secret told another friend, unbeknown to you, who works at the job site you are mystery shopping at. You could even bump into a friend while you are mystery shopping, and cause a reveal. These may seem like far-fetched scenarios, but the world is a very small place and your local community is even smaller. Far stranger things have happened, so safeguard your secret when possible.
If You Do Tell. If you do break your silence and tell a select friend or two about your undercover gig as a mystery shopper, you can take a proactive approach on limiting the competition by talking down the job and limiting details. Simply saying that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and that you don’t get to choose which stores you shop at may be enough to deter your friend from becoming your competition.
Also, make sure that your friend knows that most of your work as a mystery shopper is done incognito, and that you largely keep your job from being public knowledge. When you explain the circumstances, your friend will likely respect your privacy and keep your job a secret. If you have friends who you love despite the fact they cannot keep a secret, it’s best to not let that particular friend in on the secret.
There may be some friends that you let it on your secret job as a mystery shopper, and there may even be a few who you encourage to join your ranks. However, rather than blab unthinkingly about the job, be sure to keep tight-lipped about mystery shopping unless you have fully thought through the consequences of your actions.