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How to Say No at Work

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with too much to do at work? I certainly have. Nowadays many companies expect their employees to do more work in less time. Here is the paradox of work. The better you get at your job, the more people will ask you to do. In other words, your boss will give you more responsibilities if he/she sees that you can handle the smaller projects. You will get to the point where your ability to finish all your work by the deadline will be next to impossible. So what is the solution? You can stay overtime and work weekends. This is a good temporary solution but this is not something you should do all the time because it leads to burnout. The simple solution is to learn to say no.

Most employees can’t say no because they want to please everyone, fear they might lose their job or not be seen as a team player. Saying yes to everything can actually damage your reputation and hurt your career.

Take time to think before committing to a new project, and before you say no, consider the ramifications.  Before you say no, spell out your current responsibilities and ask your boss to help you prioritize. Your goal is to let your boss know that you are not trying to make excuses why you can’t take on the project, but you want to be honest, realistic and upfront. After you have provided your reasons why you can’t take on the new project, proposed a solution or an alternative. This will show your boss that you genuinely want to help and you are providing a few options.

So saying no is not that bad after all. You might find out that people will respect you more when they know that you are not afraid to decline a request.

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