‘I’m thinking of leaving soon, but I’m not sure’
Suggesting that you’re thinking of leaving or are job seeking elsewhere without actually handing in your notice is the nail in the coffin for your current job. Not only will it show your boss that you’re far from committed and would be a waste of time to train, it also shows that you’re likely wasting company time and resources looking for jobs elsewhere.
‘I’m sooo hungover’
Whilst you may share your tales of mid-week nights out with your closest colleagues and mates at work, you certainly don’t want this to get back to the boss. Appearing hungover will reduce your credibility, make you seem less professional and will signal a drop in the quality of your work. It certainly won’t earn you any brownie points with the boss, and is likely to damage your chances of promotion.
‘I’m great at my job, actually’
If your boss gives you some pointers or criticism about the current state of your work quality or motivation, you have to view this as constructive criticism and work with them through the issues that they perceive, even if you don’t agree. Arguing back with your manager and telling them you’re actually great will worsen the situation by creating the impression that you are stubborn and set in your ways, unlikely and unwilling to improve in your current position.
‘What are you doing?’
Constant little questions and enquiries like this will seem like you’re scrutinising or criticising your boss, which is way above your remit. It’s not your place to enquire about the work of your superiors and implies you believe they’re doing less than you.
‘That can wait till later’
If your manager gives you a task to do, particularly one that they stress to be urgent, the last thing you should do is tell them you don’t rate it on the importance spectrum and will leave it till later. Of course if you have other pressing deadlines, explain this for your manager to decide which requires your attention. Deciding and dictating your thoughts to your boss is, however, a definite no.
‘I’m really tired…maybe I should take tomorrow off…’
At some point in our working life, we have all pulled a sickie and stayed at home when we ought to have been in the office. Be this the result of too many nights partying, interviews elsewhere or just a really strong desire to stay in bed, it’s almost never a reason you want the office to know about. Announcing your planned sickie to your boss ruins the plan, is likely to get you dragged into a meeting with the boss’s boss and won’t improve your standing with the company.
‘Do you like this cat video?’
Whilst you may be distracting yourself with the odd sneaky cat video, you don’t want to let the boss know that you waste time during the working day, every day, on social media and YouTube. Even if you think they’d find that one meme hilarious, restrain yourself and keep your non-work activities to yourself.
Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.