Avoid These 4 Words If You’re Hoping to Get a Promotion This Year

Being asked to do work outside of your role or current responsibilities is frustrating. You may not have the time or energy.

But you don’t want to sound like you’re not a team player. And if you say “that’s not my job” to a supervisor or colleague, you’ll sound like a poor sport, as well as severely jeopardize your future and reputation.

There are ways of reminding a colleague or superior that “it's not my job,” without actually saying those words.

Be Honest.

If you’re swamped, simply say so. Let them know that you’d love to help, but you’re overwhelmed with urgent tasks at the moment.

Propose this as a solution, or suggest that you do part of the assignment and another team member (maybe even the person asking) does another portion — again, reminding them of everything else you have on your plate.

Suggest Collaborating.

Set limits.

For example: “I’d be happy to help, but I’m really busy with X, Y, and Z at the moment. I can certainly put in a couple of hours, though — I’d just need to get back to my other project at [SET TIME].”

Of course, there might be occasions when you simply can’t do the work the other person is asking of you. If you can’t do it, say so. Avoid being rude (for example, those four risky words: “That’s not my job”).

Explain what’s preventing you from completing the task, and, if you can, suggest alternatives, such as additional resources. Being seen as a problem solver, rather than disrespectful, rude or uncompromising will be to your benefit.

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