Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Say “No” More Often at Work

Would you mind staying late today? Can you come in early tomorrow? Can you work this weekend? Can you take on this project for me?

These are just some of the questions that young women are asked on a daily basis at work. For the most part, the majority of us would like to say “NO I CAN’T, I WON’T, AND I DON’T WANT TO!”

Instead, many will put on a meek smile and say “sure.” Working in a male-dominated culture has many women believing that if they put in the extra mile they may just have a shot at moving up the corporate ladder, and sometimes this can work! However, it’s important to realize whether you’re working harder to better yourself, or if you’re agreeing to take on extra work because somebody is taking advantage of you.

Here are the top four reasons why you should say “no” more often at work.

Have a Voice

Saying “no” to your boss can be terrifying. Often, many people feel they will be looked down upon if they don’t agree with everything they are asked. The truth is that by saying “no” you are showing that you have a voice, an opinion, and a right to express yourself freely. It also projects a strong image that shows you can’t be manipulated or walked all over.



When you’re asked to follow certain criteria that you don’t agree with or simply don’t want to work an extra three hours but still agree to, you can build up a lot of animosity with your coworkers. As this continues to build, you can become resentful and begin to dislike your work altogether. By stating your opinion and standing your ground, you set yourself up for a more cohesive work environment.

Future Unwanted Responsibilities

If you agree to take on extra tasks or projects, you really need to make sure it’s something you genuinely don’t mind doing. Otherwise, you’re opening the door of having to continuously say “yes” to unwanted responsibility since you agreed to it the first time.

Emotional Wellbeing

You are human, not a machine. Everyone can only take on so much work until it becomes unbearable. If you begin to feel overwhelmed this is a sign you should slow down and reevaluate. Being honest with yourself and with your employers is the key to success both mentally and financially.

No matter what job you have, saying those two simple letters is harder than it seems. It’s important to keep in mind that you spend one-third of your life working. You should always do what you have to and work your hardest—but you should also make sure that you say “no” when you need to, and not feel guilty for it.

So, the next time your boss asks you to do something that you genuinely don’t want to, what will you say?