Thanks, but no thanks: Finding clarity in the workplace by saying no

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Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir. Yes, boss. We say yes all the time. Now it’s time to work up the courage to say no. No to that last day-to-day task that will send you over the edge. No to the change in work hours. No to the decisions being made in a process that works just fine. No to the new promotion if it’s not quite right. No to hiring a new employee who doesn’t fit the bill. And no to the new job if it doesn’t scream yes.

We’re not suggesting you say no to anything and everything you’re asked to do in the workplace. We are, however, suggesting that you express your opinion when it comes to major decisions that will affect the workplace, the outcome of the product or service you create or provide and your personal life.

Take it personal. Saying yes to everything is good for people pleasing but it’s not always so great for end results. Oftentimes, the big yes or no questions actually affect our personal lives. A yes may keep us at work an extra hour each day or keep us so busy that we’re unable to concentrate on everything else we’ve said yes to over the years. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re not a team player. It means you’re taking the lead to call the shots because if you’re being asked a question the ball is in your court, after all.

Plan b. If you’re a good employee, the reason you’re saying no in the first place isn’t because you’re lazy. It’s because of the impact saying yes will have on your ability to perform in the workplace or on the company as a whole. If you say no because you don’t have time to take on a new project, give an alternative suggestion as to how you can still be of help. If you say no to a promotion because you see the new position as a step in the wrong direction, consider and speak out about the reasoning behind the no while providing answers as to how you could grow into a different area in the department. If you say no to hiring a particular new employee, throw out the names of other people who you feel do fit the bill. Providing reasoning behind the no and suggesting a plan b is key to legitimizing your answer.

Express yourself. You were hired for a reason. Your decision-making skills and authority in the field are part of that reason. So choose to give an honest answer when being asked a question. If there is any fear that your thoughts could be misconstrued, make time for an open, honest and in-person conversation. Emails and texts all too often go misinterpreted due to the lack of tone. Also, be sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to be heard. Thanks can go a long way.

Say it like you mean it. Going against the grain can be a challenge. Accept it. There is a fine balance between being inappropriately demanding or bossy and expressing an opinion in a manner that demands consideration. Choose your words and tone wisely. Speak calmly rather than out of spite, anger or fear. Look your boss, peer or employee in the eye. Demand to be heard. Call for a discussion. See what happens when you ask for clarity and careful consideration rather than just being a yes-man or woman.

Finding yourself in a position where your opinions and decisions aren’t being valued or considered? Take a look at our current job openings to see if there’s a fit for you here.

Going up? Five keys to land a promotion


We’re all human here. And humans have this thing about always wanting more than what they’ve got. Be it a new title or the extra figure in your paycheck, we all want it. The question is, do we all have what it takes to step up to that next rung on our professional ladder to land a promotion?

Take a look at the five keys to land a promotion below to find out what your next steps should be to get on the track towards success.

Think outside of the box. The human mind feeds off of new stimulus, new technology, new information. Are you stimulating your mind in (and out) of the workplace? If not, reading up on the latest pharma and biotech news might do you good. Heck! If you’re too tired after work, there’s always YouTube. Whatever you do, feed your mind! When we are in a constant state of self-education, we’re much more likely to think outside of the box, step out of our comfort zones, become problem solvers and do things in a newer, better way. Your boss is paid to tell you what to do and how to do it. But what if you could help them out a bit by introducing them to a new way of doing your job that might save them some time and money they’d probably think a bit higher of you. Be a leader not a follower. Chances are, your boss will notice.

Act the part. If you walk around the workplace acting like your glass is half-empty, fill it up and drop the ‘tude. Nobody likes a complainer (especially your higher ups). If you feel you deserve a raise and status change, act the part.

Quantify your qualities. Take out a pen and paper. Now jot down all of the accomplishments you’ve made since you’ve been in your position. What has saved your company’s bottom line? How have you helped increase production or speed in your operation? What problems have you solved? Write down everything you’ve done for the betterment of your company and keep adding to it. You’ll want to keep this for your next review or meeting with your boss. Sometimes it takes a little self-promotion to get what you deserve!

Find a friend. Do you have friends in high places? And by that we mean do you have a mentor? It pays to make friends with your higher ups. Now, this is a bit of a gray area which is dependent upon the casualties of your workplace. In some instances, we mean real friendship. In other instances, there are formal mentorships available for grabs. In either case, most promotions have a little something to do with what others within the hierarchy are saying about you.

Step on the soapbox. Now, we’re not talking about all the time. The soapbox is meant for special occasions, right? What we’re suggesting is that you follow the aforementioned steps first and foremost. And then, when you feel you’re ready, ask your boss for a meeting. Take a look at your list of quantifiable qualities. Memorize the most important details or print out a copy for both you and your boss. Now’s your time to shine. Sell yourself. Studies show that less than half of all employees ever even ask for a promotion. So how is it that your boss will even know that you’re seeking one? Tell them. Give them your goals. Tell them how passionate you are about their company. Elaborate on why you would be the best fit for a position that just opened up. Being clear about your wants and needs is imperative in landing a promotion. If it doesn’t happen this time, at least your higher ups are very clear on where you stand, that you’re passionate about earning their respect and that you are willing to do what it takes to move on up.

Thinking of moving up by landing a new job all-together? In some instances, this may be your best bet in landing a promotion. Take a look at our recent job openings here!