There are a few expressions that lead an employee to fall out of grace with management. Usually, the obvious ones become an issue when a pattern is present. These include the common:

“I can’t make it in today…”

” I’m going to be late…”


” … I forgot”

True, a scenario where any of these phrases is uttered can prove to be inconvenient (at minimum) if not outright aggravating. However, none of these unfortunate phrases will irritate your manager more than the dreaded :

“That’s not my job”

Why? It shows disinterest, complacency, and refusal to take initiative.

In almost any job there will be tasks that arise which may be outside of the original job description. Rather than tarnish your reputation in the workplace or fall out of grace with your manager by using the “That’s not my job” approach, consider this an opportunity. Perhaps this task is an opportunity to demonstrate your teamwork and professionalism.

Consider this: Your manager requests a task of you that is outside of your wheelhouse. You could decline, citing that your skills aren’t up for the job OR you could connect them with another colleague and suggest working together to complete the task at hand. This approach would both build camaraderie among your team and show that you are willing to collaborate or assist wherever you can.

Whether or not you recognize it, management is always on the lookout for top performers. If you wish to only keep your own responsibilities as designated by your job description, your career will likely remain stagnant. However, if you are open to extra tasks (be they mundane or larger projects) your manager will take note. A “can-do” attitude shows commitment to your work, to the collective goals of the company, and leadership quality.

One response to “Looking for a promotion or recognition? Avoid THIS phrase at work”

  1. […] – This goes along with another recent blog post, but attitude is everything! Having a more open-minded approach to work tasks or responding […]

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