Whether the workplace culture is casual or conventional, most employers agree that there are certain things you just don’t do or say in the workplace. Well, not if you want to develop or maintain a professional image and avoid ticking off your coworkers and boss! Let’s start by taking a look at seven phrases that will land you in the HR hot seat – and even worse – make you sound like a jerk!

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7 Phrases That Will Land You in the HR Hot Seat

There are some obvious phrases that I’ve heard workers use in the workplace that scream immature! For example:

  • That’s not in my job description.
  • Everyone here sucks.
  • I’m too talented to be stuck here.
  • I’m just here for the freebies…for the hook-up potential…paycheck…my parents cut me off.

unpleasant coworker, behavior, unprofessional

While it’s possible that some of your coworkers may relate, others, including management and HR, will see you as someone who can’t be counted on, someone who is a bit of a jerk, who thinks they are superior, and that they can’t trust. Is that the impression you want to give anyone?

Even though it is crucial that you take great care with what you say in the workplace to ensure you succeed, it is equally as important that HR workers know what is and isn’t acceptable to ensure they are implementing the policies of the workplace. This is why so many companies approach PEO companies (which have been compared by crazyegg) for HR consultancy. This helps to ensure that the HR manager and staff are always acting appropriately and professionally.

A day in the life of an HR manager can vary. From carrying out recruitment, hiring potential new employees, to disciplining people because of their actions, they have a lot on their plate, and this is why so many are looking for a career in this area. But, for the sake of your job, make sure that they don’t have an opportunity to pick you up on any questionable habits.

If you want to find success in your career, you need to learn to place nicely in the workplace. Managers are watching – even when you think they aren’t. So, you should ensure that what you say and how you conduct yourself around coworkers, clients, and customers, in and outside the workplace, is spot on.

Start by avoiding these seven phrases that could land you in the HR hot seat and make you sound like a jerk.

After reading these, you may think, duh, it’s just common sense. Yes, but not everyone possesses this trait or was taught the difference between thinking and saying it.

Here are 7 Phrases that Just Don’t Work at Work

There are a lot of things you just shouldn’t say at work, even to coworkers who happen to be a friend. Let’s start with these seven that will for sure get you into some hot water:

  1. If I looked like you… hot people always get picked.
  2. Your generation doesn’t get it.
  3. No offense, but… (doesn’t matter what goes here – it’s always going to be offensive!)
  4. I speak my mind, and everyone better get over it.
  5. I’m still high/drunk from last night.
  6. If you voted for “x,” you’re an idiot, and I refuse to work with someone like you.
  7. Who do you have to hook-up with to get that cushy job?

You might be thinking, “The company I work for encourages expression.” Let’s say they do, and let’s say your coworkers’ and boss’s immediate reaction is a contrived smile and maybe even a comment like, “You’re always so, ‘you.’” This does not translate into approval. Do not mistake silence, a nod, or an inaudible mumble as a sign of validation.

Do you need more compelling reasons to reevaluate your communication style?

If so, here are some possible repercussions you could face if you don’t monitor how you speak or act at work:

  1. human resources trainingYour boss will probably overlook you to represent the company or meet with a client.
  2. Your boss will carefully consider how they can legally avoid promoting you.
  3. Your coworkers, will find ways to avoid including you, taking your opinions into consideration, avoid partnering with you on a project or exclude you from after-hours get-togethers.
  4. Your lack of tact can land in you the HR department, have a claim filed against you or be permanently escorted from the building.
  5. If you seek employment elsewhere, and your employer is asked the only legal question allowed that provides any insight about you, “Would you rehire this person?” The answer will be resounding “No.”

A casual workplace environment doesn’t mean that we can bring our worst self to work. It doesn’t mean that we are free to blurt every thought we have. And it doesn’t mean that we are free to behave or communicate as we do at home.

Depending on your career goals or aspirations, your current communication style may not be hindering you. However, think about where you could or would be if you readjusted your attitude just a bit to lend towards a more civil workplace where people didn’t think you were a jerk.