10 Things You Should Never Ask Your Boss

If you have a good relationship with your boss, sometimes it can be difficult to know when and where to draw the line. RELATED: Need some advice for the office? Watch these tutorials! Here are 10 things you should never ask your boss:


1. Can I Have The Day Off?

If left up to a boss, you’d never have a day off and you’d never leave the office. That’s why salary was invented, to give employers the opportunity to get as much legal free time from you as possible. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but I’m just telling it like it is. That being said, you should never ask your boss for the day off because personal time is already allotted for this. If you do not have any, do not ask for the day off.

2. Can I Go On Vacation?

Assuming you have vacation days available, you shouldn’t ask your boss if you can go on vacation, you should just tell them. This goes against conventional wisdom (or lack thereof) that states that you should ask for permission. Asking for permission insinuates that you’re asking for something that you do not deserve or have not earned. Simply giving your boss an advanced notice is perfectly suitable. If you work in an environment in which this is not suitable and you feel compelled to ask for permission, this job won’t end well. You might want to cut your losses now before you become an indentured servant.

3. What Future Do I Have With This Company?

Your boss isn’t a fortune teller. They don’t know what his or her future is with the company, much less yours.

4. Can I Have A Raise?

Raises and promotions are earned, not gifted. Therefore, instead of flat-out asking for a raise, you should instead present a proposal that outlines your accomplishments. This proposal should also provide success metrics. If you can throw in some charts and graphs, that would be even better. Once you have a well-groomed proposal, ask your boss to review it in consideration for advancement opportunities.

5. Are There Opportunities For Growth?

This question piggy backs off the previous question. Same rules apply.

6. How Do You Feel About My Performance?

This question leaves one to wonder if you’re unsatisfied in your current position. It also leads one to wonder if you are incapable of rational thought, as you shouldn’t need a boss to inform you of your level of performance. Also, if you are doing well and there isn’t a reward your boss can provide you in terms of compensation or promotion, this can leave him/her feeling uneasy about answering your question. If you aren’t performing well, you may not receive very good feedback, which could lead to negative consequences.

7. Can I Come In Late?

Traffic is a bummer. The kids have a new school schedule. These are some of the most common excuses people use to ask their boss if they can come to work late. Your boss could care less about traffic or your kids because he/she sits in the same traffic you do and they have kids to get to school as well. Have you heard of the school bus? Is there some reason why you can’t drive to work earlier to beat traffic?

8. Can I Leave Early?

This question piggybacks off of the last question. No. Your boss doesn’t care that you want to ‘beat traffic’ and they don’t care about you picking your kids up from school either. Sorry.

9. Did You Receive My Friend Request?

Do not send your boss a friend request on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media platform. Not even LinkedIn. Your social platforms are your personal space and should remain as such. Your boss does not need to know what goes on in your personal life, what your kids look like and they certainly don’t need to see your vacation pictures that depict you in your 2-piece bikini or Speedo. LinkedIn is dangerous because it’s a tool that keeps you open to new opportunities. These opportunities could lead you astray from your current job. Requesting a connection with your boss on Linkedin would be the equivalent of asking your spouse to connect with you on Match.com. You’re essentially shouting loud and clear that you’re ‘keeping your options open.’

10. What Are You Doing This Weekend?

This question crosses the line between personal and professional boundaries and can leave your boss feeling as though you’re making an advance towards them. This question could be totally innocent, but the mistaken advance may be well-received. This could lead a boss to begin making inappropriate comments or it could lead to inappropriate questions and/or behavior. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

3 Rules To Managing Up 4 Tips For Connecting With A New Boss 7 Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You

About the author

Michael Price is the author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank. He is also the founder of Conquer Career Course, where he teaches students how to increase their salary, build a career with longevity and become unemployment-proof. View the trailer below:    
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less