Do you like your job and hope to keep it? Or do you want to climb the corporate ladder? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, in the current job climate, you need to do more than what's in your job description. You need to make sure you don't say something to upset your boss.
Whether you want to get ahead or simply keep your job, you need to maintain your professionalism at the office at all times. Doing otherwise will give your boss the impression that you don't care about your work, the company, or her.
Boundaries That are Too Narrow
"That's not in my job description." Your boss knows what's in your job description, but there may be times when you're called on to do something extra. Unless it is unethical or you're physically incapable of doing what she's asking you to do, use her request as an opportunity to show that you are a team player and value your business relationship.
After Hours at the Office
"I'm off duty now." If you are still in the office, you should remain in work mode. That means that as long as you are anywhere in the building you should leave your work clothes on and maintain a professional demeanor. Don't drop the work face until you are safely on your way home, away from the people you work with.
Social Media Friend or Follow
Make unsolicited "follow" on Twitter or other social media. While you may have the friendliest and most innocent intentions, never initiate contact with your boss on social media. If he wants to follow you, he can send the invitation or discuss it with you first. Some bosses may want to reserve social media for personal use.
Too Easy of a Job
"Anyone can do my job." Saying this removes any incentive to give you a raise. Even if you think that your job is too easy, keep it to yourself and show a good attitude…even if you have to fake it.
Display of Personal Life
Discuss a wild weekend. Never never never go into detail when talking about the wild and crazy weekend you had. On Monday morning walk into the office with a smile, and if the person in the next cubicle asks how your weekend was, say something benign like, "I had a great one. How about you?" Turning the attention to the person asking will let you off the hook.
Do an abundance of sighing. Bosses can take this any number of ways, and they're all generally bad. She might think that you are bored or tired, neither of which shows your engagement with the job. If you feel like sighing, try some deep breathing as silently as possible.
Unexplained Change in Attire
Show up at the office in formal business attire if you normally wear business casual. This is a red flag for most bosses. It often means you're looking for another job and you have a lunch hour job interview. If this is the case, don't flaunt it or let others know. Instead, leave your jacket in the car and go to your job looking like you generally do. It's better to do a quick change in the car than to risk having your boss thinking you have one foot out the door.
"I'm using this job to get experience for the one I really want." It's never a good idea to make this kind of comment. No one wants to feel like the consolation prize. Even if this is the case, be all in. You never know how things might turn out. The job you currently have could very well lead to exactly what you want…or better.
Tattling on Coworkers
"There's a problem." If this is truly the case, your boss probably already knows about it. Unless you have a solution in mind, don't state the obvious. If the problem is another employee it's not up to you to bring it to the boss's attention, or you'll be perceived as office gossip.
"That's beneath me. I was hired to do more meaningful work." This comes across as snobbery, and there is no place for it in most work environments. If you are a team manager and the boss asks you to do a menial task, do it with a smile on your face. Sometimes it takes everyone chipping in on the mindless work to get to what you consider the big picture.
It's All About You
"I need a raise to pay my bills." While this may be true, the better way of getting an increase in salary is to do an exemplary job and make yourself indispensable. In other words, earn a higher salary rather than expect it simply because you're there filling an office chair. If you are overlooked and feel that you are due a raise, state your case from the company's perspective, not yours.
Flirting with the Boss
"You look hot." This puts your supervisor in an awkward position and can be considered sexual harassment. If you say this in any form, you are jeopardizing your job. There is no rule against finding your boss attractive, but you should keep your thoughts to yourself. Even if your boss flirts with you, maintain your professionalism.