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12 Common Phrases That Can Destroy Your Professional Image Unknowingly

12 Common Phrases That Can Destroy Your Professional Image Unknowingly

There are certain actions that can hurt your professional career. In order to go the long haul with your career, you’ll need to steer clear of the wrong actions, comments, or phrases. You should be focused and disciplined, even if it’s tempting to use these kinds of excuses. Here are 12 phrases that have the potential to destroy your career.

1. “It has always been done this way.”

Things are never static. It is wrongful and uncreative to assume that doing things a particular or a singular way is the definitive way to getting the job done. Try look for ways to better a situation rather than look for excuses to stay on one track.

2. “There is nothing I can do.”

Of course there is something you can do—it is just that you are not inventive and willing enough. Using this kind of negative phrase could give off the impression that you are pessimistic, passive and despondent.

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3. “That meeting was really bad.”

This is a personal opinion, and your opinion should be kept to yourself when it comes to these types of things. Plus, how can a meeting be really bad when you are in attendance? Perhaps you didn’t do enough to make it exciting and productive.

4. “Can we get it over with?”

This phrase means you are not willing to be bothered or engaged in such a business activity. Every issue that comes your way should be addressed with an optimistic attitude.

5. “You guys!”

Such phrase can be said casually during a friendly conversation, but not during a professional conversation. Phrases like this are slang, which could demean your professionalism. It would be best for you to use a phrase like “your organization” or “your team” instead.

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6. “It’s not fair.”

Instead of complaining and whining, why don’t you deal with what made you feel treated unfairly in the first place? Nothing is actually fair in our world, and you have to be prepared for that in your professional career.

7. “This is a silly idea.”

When did you become the most seasoned professional to condemn and affirm ideas? You can’t be judgmental and condemnatory as a professional. You have to offer an alternative or assert a recommendation rather than pushing an idea aside and saying it is silly.

8. “I am too busy.”

Such phrases could make the other person feel irrelevant. You do not have to act more important than something or someone else. Learn to foster positive relationship. Try saying, “Let us discuss this by 4 p.m. Could you perhaps stop by my office later in the day?”

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9. “I will try.”

Such a phrase already signals a possibility of failure. It is better to admit if you can follow through or not. Also, using negative phrases could mean you are the kind of person who doesn’t commit him or herself to anything worth going for.

10. “You should have…”

This phrase is more of a fault-finding phrase rather than a problem-solving phrase. It sounds like you are thrilled about the person’s failure rather than his or her success. You shouldn’t try to make anyone feel guilty or judge them for their mishaps. Focus on how you can improve the situation by saying, “to ensure we get things done, make sure you bring this to my attention immediately.”

11. “The new guy/lady is so hot!”

This phrase can be taken for a sexual innuendo. It is okay to appreciate another person’s beauty or handsomeness, but that expression should not be done in a professional environment so as not to make others feel uncomfortable in the workplace.

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12. “Do you believe what he/she said?”

If you are uncomfortable with what someone said or did during a particular situation, why don’t you confront the person directly and question their words or actions? You don’t need to gossip or make utterances about the persons action behind their back.

Featured photo credit: http://www.gratisography.com via gratisography.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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