7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss (EVER)

Are you friendly with your boss? Are they someone that you can laugh and joke with, or are they someone you are petrified of?

Whichever situation it is, there are some things you should simply never say to them. Ever. Here’s our run down of the top 7:

1. I can’t!

When it comes to work, there is no such word as ‘can’t’. Bosses would love for you to be able to do something, or at least try to do it. If you tell them “I can’t” – it not only shows a lack of unwillingness, but a lack of confidence too. You should be confident at work, if you want to go far. If you give things a go and fail, your boss will at least appreciate that you tried. It’s the same for “that’s not my area” or “that’s not part of my job”. Basically, do a Jim Carrey and try to always say “yes”, and perhaps follow up with, “I can try my best”.

2. Can I have a raise?

You may dream about having enough money to build a bed made from notes, but steer clear of asking for a raise (or a promotion).

Both raises and promotions are there to be earned through hard work, effort and results. Instead of asking, present a well-written proposal (which proves why are you important to the company) and ask your boss to review it. If they feel you can advance, they’ll give you what you want. Once the work is done, then maybe you can build your bed from notes.

READ MORE: How NOT to Ask for a Raise or Promotion

3. Can I leave early?

All full time jobs have an allocation of personal holiday (sometimes called annual leave), and this is there to be used for personal reasons. If you want to go away to a sunny country with your partner, or want to take a day off every so often, use your holiday.

Your boss does not want to be paying for you to go home early and play on your Xbox. If you do want to leave an hour or two early for legitimate reasons, earn any extra time you need by making up your hours, or just use your holiday allocation. Your mum will appreciate it even more, trust me.

4. Can I come in late?

See above.

5. How do I benefit from this?

Sometimes (or most of the time), your work and projects will involve helping your colleagues. If you’re not working alone, you’ll be part of a team of people who will all have strengths, weaknesses and passions.

It’s always important to be a team player, as it’s a trait that a lot of bosses see in a positive light. If you’re able to work well in a team, your boss may even promote you to team leader.

6. I‘ll leave!

This is a must – don’t ever threaten to leave the company. If you feel like your job is something you don’t want to do, go home and weigh up the pros and cons. Which parts of your job are keeping you in there? Are there elements which are making your career bad for your health? Compare them and see which are the most crucial.

If you make a swift decision and say you’ll go to your boss before thinking, it’ll show you as unprofessional, and they’ll consider you a flight risk, which is something you don’t want to be.

7. I’m bored.

Every so often, you may have a moment at work where you’ve been working on the same project or client for a long time. Everything may be mixing into one and you can’t tell the difference between your various responsibilities.

The fact of the matter is, you’re being paid to do your job. Your boss gives you a job to do, and you have to work to make it interesting and fun. Never tell your boss that you’re bored, as it will show that you are not capable of doing the job at hand. If you want to suggest different ways of sprucing up your day to day list, then go for it – telling someone you’re bored is too negative to come back from.


Take these tips to hand and you’ll never fall out with your boss – and hopefully, you’ll end up with a fun job, with a fair holiday allocation, and a payrise or promotion!

By Laurence Hebberd