THE BLOG

How Saying No Changed My Career

19/01/2017 12:21 GMT | Updated 19/01/2017 12:22 GMT

There comes a time in everyone's career where you have been asked to do something, and you know deep down you want to say 'NO' because you don't have the capacity to do it, but you say yes anyway for various reasons, most times because we don't want to disappoint the person asking. This is more so when you are a junior staff or as some would call it "At the bottom of the food chain." I have found in my career that using the two letter word NO is not only the right thing to do when necessary but it can have a positive effect on our long-term career and wellbeing. Here are three secrets and powers hidden in saying NO.

When you say NO, you say YES to yourself. Saying NO has a lot of psychological benefits, saying yes to yourself will give you the sense and power to feel that you are in control of your life and you are not a pushover. Saying YES to yourself gives you confidence in yourself to make bold decisions which will also reflect in your long term wellbeing.

When you say NO, you improve your time management. You have more time to do the task you already have and most times this will mean you deliver quality outputs. I have been in a situation where I didn't say no to additional tasks given to me. I ended up working extra hours and putting pressure on myself which made me stressed. It's not a good position to be in especially when there is a tight deadline. If I had said no, the task could have been delegated to someone else who had the capacity to do it.

Most times when you say NO you gain respect from your colleagues. Most time people say YES so they don't disappoint the person asking, but it takes a courageous and disciplined person to say NO. Saying NO speaks volume about your character and self-awareness (regarding your capacity to take on more). It is better to be a person that says no and delivers quality work than a "Yes man" that doesn't provide quality or to a deadline.

HOW DO I SAY NO I HEAR YOU ASK. Most of the time the confidence to say NO is a battle that goes on in our mind. In my career, I have found that most colleagues are understanding and would prefer you to manage their expectation rather than say yes. Most senior colleagues have once been in a junior position, so they know where you are coming from. Try this when you are asked to take on additional tasks "Jack I don't think I will be able to complete this new task in that time frame because I am currently work on task XYZ for John which will end by the end of the week. If it can wait until next week, I am happy to take it on". Saying NO has never gotten anyone fired so use it when necessary.

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