How can I tell my boss no? I’m constantly being asked to work longer and longer hours.
Everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time. This is especially true at work, where we’re expected to put in long hours to get projects done. For some of us, it’s nearly impossible to say no to extra requests. But saying yes all the time leads to a feeling of being trapped and can cause mental and physical health problems.
It may be tempting to say yes to every request from your boss. But that isn’t how you build a successful career. The key is to figure out when it’s appropriate to say no.
If you are timid about saying no, here are some ways to do it:
- Be confident in your decision.
- Tell your boss what you need from them to be able to say yes (e.g., work breaks, extra resources, more guidance, more limited scope, etc.)
- Use phrases like “Yes, but…” or “I’d love to” or “How can I help?” instead of “I have to” or “I don’t have time.”
- Pick your battles and schedule in advance so that you won’t be forced into taking on more than you can handle.
About the Author
Dave rose from an entry-level position of Analyst to one of the youngest Managing Directors in his firm’s history. As one of the only managing directors of color, he successfully broke through the Bamboo Ceiling. He not only worked hard but also played the corporate game.
Dave also serves on the board of directors of Asian American Media Inc, the parent company of AsAmNews. He is also one of our largest donors.
If you want some great career tips and insights check out Dave’s book, The Way of the Wall Street Warrior, at TheWallStreetWarrior.com.
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