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5 Things not to say at work

If you’re like more than half of the college population, you have a job. No matter where you make that money— as a barista at the local hipster coffee shop or as a suit in an office—there are a few things that a successful working girl should never say. Avoid the following five while at work:

“I don’t know”

Avoid these three deadly words at all cost, especially at a new job. Managers like to see employees take initiative – this means that if we don’t know now, we better figure it out soon. As working women we must be proactive when it comes to things unknown. Google is a great option for research or simply ask a co-worker. Ignorance is not an excuse, and almost never flies with the boss.


Why do we as women use qualifiers at work? There is nothing worse than having the boss ask a question we know the answer to, but then we follow up the answer with, “Right?” or “But I could be wrong.” Come on ladies, where is our confidence? Men say what they think with complete assurance, even if it is utterly wrong. This time, let’s take a cue from the guys.


This one is obvious to many, but you’d be surprised how many times it slips – even in professional atmospheres. Remember to be a woman with class and intelligence. By using curse words, even in frustrating situations, we stoop down to an unprofessional level. Instead set the example – your boss will definitely notice.

“No” (within reason)

By saying no to opportunities at work we close ourselves off to advancement within the company, store or career. There is always a bit of wiggle room in our busy schedules, and things can be rearranged so that we can accomplish whatever our managers want from us. This does not mean we become doormats and never say no. There are just some things we need to refuse (like overtime the same day as a friend’s birthday dinner). Also, the more open we are to helping whenever needed, the more we are favored by the boss and by co-workers.

Filler Words

These include “um,” and a favorite amongst our generation, “like.” We usually use these either out of habit or to fill a pause while we think of the next thing to say, but neither are necessary and are often times overused. Instead, talk slower and with purpose. By doing this, we have more time to organize our thoughts and use these filler words less. 

Hayley Hulin is a junior journalism major at the University of La Verne, but is taking her studies abroad this fall semester to rainy England. While she isn't studying, Hayley will be writing for her university blog, HC and Darling Magazine about traveling, experiencing new things and eating great food! Once finished with her fall adventure, Hayley is excited to reunite with her Phi Sigma Sigma sisters, Renew Christian Club and family.
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