What You Say Does Matter

Whether it is in your formal performance review or in a periodic status meeting with your manager, what you say does matter so be sure you are always professionally presenting your personal brand.  Some phrases are guaranteed to push a manager’s buttons and should be avoided.

“It’s Not My Job”

Not everything can be captured in your job description.  Sometimes projects arise that just need to be done.  Wouldn’t you rather have the reputation of being the “go to” person who can be counted on to get things done instead of someone who wants to live by the limits of the job description?  Sometimes a stretch project shows the manager your capabilities and could lead to increased responsibilities.  Sometimes work just needs to get done and those who are willing to pitch in and make it happen earn reputations as team players.  Don’t build your professional reputation as a shirker or someone who exists only inside the box of their job description.

“I Deserve a Raise”

Who doesn’t?  Most people think they deserve a raise but it is more important to demonstrate why you deserve a raise through your work accomplishments.

“It’s Not My Fault”

Blaming others for every problem does not make you look better, instead you look like someone who can’t work with others.  Avoid the blame game.  Take responsibility for your own errors and work closely with your team to address problems encountered.  Pointing fingers makes you look like you take no responsibility.

“It’s Just Who I Am”

If your manager takes the time to give you constructive feedback, take it seriously and view it as an opportunity for growth.  Don’t write is off because you are who you are.  We all need to grow and change to be successful at work.  Ask for advice on how to address the issue and monitor your progress.  Those who can grow and change are more likely to advance.


Pay attention to what you are saying at work so you are not inadvertently damaging your personal brand and your opportunities for success.


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