In a perfect world, you’d be on good terms with your boss. You might not be the best of friends, trading holiday cookies, or hanging out and drinking beer after work, but at least your communication lines are always honest and open.
But you don’t live in a perfect world — no matter how nice your boss is.
Your boss is human, too. That means they have human emotions, and react the same way you do to negative or awkward scenarios.
If you’ve ever heard of the expression, “TMI,” which stands for “Too Much Information,” you’ll know what I mean. Some things, no matter how friendly and understanding your boss is, are best left unsaid.
Don’t Say These Things to Your Boss… Unless You Want to Look for Another Job
- “I’m Just Here for the Money.”
I can picture it now. You’re having a drink or a casual lunch at work, talking about what’s happening to the office. All of a sudden, you blurt out, “I’m just here for the money.” Crickets. Your boss looks stunned, but quickly recovers.
Next thing you know, they’re not relying on you so much. They’re not keeping you in the loop of what’s happening at the office or with other departments. Right now, they think you don’t really care about the job. But even if that’s the case, you shouldn’t say that out loud. It could cost you your job, or a promotion.
- “Can you give me a raise?”
This phrase reeks of entitlement. Even if you’re a star-performer, phrasing your request in this way won’t win you a bigger paycheck.
Raises are earned through results, accomplishments, and hard work. You can’t just strut into the office and demand an increase — even if you just did something that “wowed” everyone in the office. Prepare a document outlining your contributions to the company, and briefly explain why those contributions merit an award.
- “I’m in search of a new job.”
Don’t say this out loud unless you want to get fired before you get that other job. Telling your boss about your job search is a huge mistake, unless your employer is undergoing a re-shuffling.
Yes, I know it might make more sense to notify your boss in advance if you’re planning to leave so they could at least start finding your replacement. Give them a 30 day notice — after you sign a job offer.
- “I want to do the easiest task.”
You may not be lazy, but your boss will think you are as soon as you utter these words. Only lazy people are content with doing the same things every day. Don’t ever say this if you want to get promoted.
- “Bob is lazy and not doing his job.”
You might not see anything wrong with this sentence at first glance. Yes, your co-workers might be really slacking off. But what could possibly go wrong? A couple of things:
- Your boss will think you’re a tattle-tale. If you’re so busy complaining about your co-workers and checking on what they’re up to instead of doing your own job.
- You might be wrong! Maybe your co-worker clocked-out early because they’ve been there since 3:00 AM! Maybe that co-worker has a work-from-home arrangement with your boss.
Mum’s the Word
Remember these phrases next time you feel like opening up to your boss. There are plenty of safe topics to discuss, just don’t go too far off the borderline and meander towards the TMI zone.