Why Saying “No” in Your Career (and Life) can be a Good Thing

Career & Workplace
Young African American executive respectfully tells his boss no while still advancing his career

As we round out November, the month of gratitude, I thought I’d take a moment to dispel the myth that saying “no,” and setting boundaries makes you ungrateful for the opportunities provided to you. In a world where “yes” often seems like the golden ticket to career advancement and finally snagging that coveted executive role, there’s an undervalued power in saying “no.” Embracing the art of refusal doesn’t make you ungrateful or a less cooperative team player; it’s about strategic decision-making and setting essential boundaries. Today we’ll explore why saying “no” can be a powerful tool in both career and personal life, highlighting the significance of intentional choices and boundaries.

Understanding the Power of “No”

Saying “no” isn’t merely rejection. There’s so much more to it than that! It’s an assertion of control over commitments. The pressure to always say ”yes” stems from societal expectations, often leading to overcommitment and burnout. However, strategic “no’s” can empower you to maintain focus, reduce stress, and boost productivity by prioritizing your time and energy.

Overcoming the Fear of “No”

The fear or guilt tied to declining requests is a common one that I hear from many clients. It’s ok to have these fears! However, as we all know, facing and overcoming our fears is a huge part of life. As you prepare to tackle this fear, remember that assertiveness and effective communication play a crucial role in gracefully declining tasks, opportunities, or requests while still maintaining relationships. It’s about setting clear expectations and respectfully managing commitments. By developing these skills, you can gracefully navigate through situations in which saying “no” is the right answer. 

One final thought on people-pleasing and the fear of saying “no:” remember that you’re not ice cream – not everyone is going to like you. And that’s ok! 🍦

Embracing the Positive Outcomes of “No”

Success stories abound where saying “no” has led to positive outcomes in both career advancement and personal life. By carefully selecting the opportunities you pursue, you can make better decisions and experience professional growth. Saying “no” allows us to focus on what truly matters, whether it’s a more fulfilling career, a healthier work-life balance, or personal development opportunities.

Saying “No” in Career Situations

Workplace Demands and Projects

Choosing to decline certain projects or tasks can enable better time and resource allocation. Nobody is at their best when they are stretched to the limit and overwhelmed. Prioritizing tasks aligned with strategic goals helps prevent burnout and enhances efficiency while often reminding you what you love about your career.

Job Opportunities and Career Advancements

Sometimes, declining certain job offers or advancements is beneficial for long-term career objectives. When presented with such an opportunity, remember that you are an asset! Don’t jump at an offer simply because it looks good on paper. Examine it from all perspectives, and if it doesn’t align with your personal values and aspirations, say no! It’s not the job for you, and again – that’s ok. Finding a career in which you are challenged, appreciated, and satisfied is the goal, not advancement for advancement’s sake.  

Work-Life Balance in Executive Roles

Setting boundaries through saying “no” is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By rejecting excessive work hours or commitments, you can prioritize your personal well-being and enjoy a more fulfilling life both inside and outside of work. Make time to be at home for family dinners, watch the kids’ soccer games, or just curl up on the couch with a mug of cocoa and your favorite movie. Whatever you do to decompress and relax is important. Saying “no” will help prioritize those things.

Saying “No” in Personal Life

Social Commitments and Personal Relationships

We all have lives outside of our executive roles (at least we should!), and I want you to be happy there as well! Setting boundaries in social engagements nurtures personal relationships while protecting your mental well-being. Remember that prioritizing personal time is essential for self-care.

Personal Development and Growth

Saying “no” to certain commitments also allows you to make space for personal growth opportunities. By selectively choosing how you invest your time and energy, you can engage in self-care, self-reflection, and pursue activities that nurture your personal development. The better you know yourself, the happier you’ll be in your career. And, cheesy though it may sound, how will you know yourself if you never spend time with yourself? 

In conclusion, the ability to say ”no” strategically holds immense power. It’s about aligning commitments with personal and professional goals, leading to better focus, growth, and a balanced life. Don’t be afraid to embrace the empowerment of saying “no” when necessary. Evaluate your commitments and feel free to reach out!  For many of us, learning to say “no” is a lifelong journey. I’m always happy to share my tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way. 

PS – Stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault! But that’s a whole ‘nother blog. 😉

Is it the Right Time to Ask for a Raise?

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Going to your boss and asking for a raise is always a sensitive topic of discussion. But if you ask at the right time and do a little homework beforehand, then you can at least minimize some of the awkwardness. The point of asking for a raise is to tell your boss you believe you’ve gone above and beyond in your current role and believe you should be compensated accordingly. Or you may simply think you’re underpaid to do your day-to-day duties. Any executive resume writing service will tell you to proceed with caution when asking for a raise, and to consider waiting to do so until you’ve come across these situations.

When You’ve Added On Responsibilities

If your job responsibilities continue increasing, but your salary remains the same, there will probably come a time when you think you aren’t getting compensated fairly. Don’t ask for the raise upfront though. Wait until you’ve had some time to show the ability to handle these additional responsibilities. That way you have some backbone to your claims in asking for more money since you’ve proven to be able to handle them all.

Look At Your Company’s Recent Performance

When writing resumes and cover letters during the job searching process, you likely researched the performance of the company you currently work for. That research may have helped you land the job, just like the research could help you land a raise as well. No matter how many accomplishments you’ve had at your job, it’s never appropriate to ask for a raise if the company as a whole is performing poorly. On the other hand, if the company is performing well and you believe you contributed to the positive performance, talk it over with your boss and see if your performance merits getting a raise.

Consider Waiting Until Your Performance Review

Your executive resume writing service may suggest waiting until your annual performance review is approaching before bringing up the idea of a raise. So a few weeks ahead of your anticipated review, talk to your boss about a potential salary increase so they will take it into consideration while performing their assessment. Then you can wait for the answer during the actual review and can discuss further as needed.
At Professional Resume Services, we help executives create quality resumes and cover letters, enhance their LinkedIn profile and even provide tips on the best ways to handle sensitive subjects with your current employer. The hope is your employer will recognize great work when they see it and reward employees accordingly. However, there are different reasons and circumstances why that’s not always true. If you’re put in a spot where you think you need a raise and don’t know how to approach your boss, contact us for some helpful advice.

3 Reasons Why Setting Realistic Career Goals is Important

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Focusing on the goals you’ve set for yourself can keep you motivated even when times are tough. However, the top resume writing services always see people set unrealistic or overly-ambitious goals, which often ends up hurting them more than helping. One aspect of goal-setting everyone can benefit from is always looking at the end result of what you actually want to achieve. Most goals are based on money or production, but many people feel a hollow happiness when they’re actually achieved for several different reasons. Here are some of the main reasons why you should think about setting realistic career goals for yourself.

Work-Life Balance Is A Necessity

One of the main career goals proven to lead to happiness is having a good work-life balance. Besides, what good does a six figure salary do if you never have the time to enjoy the benefits? Everyone has different lifestyles, so if you live to work instead of work to live, then do what makes you happy. But when work begins taking a toll on you and is impacting your personal life in a negative way, then your executive resume writer may suggest reevaluating your goals and making adjustments as needed.

The Right Salary Expectations Will Make You Happier

Making your goals based around the amount of money you make usually won’t lead to genuine happiness. Money is necessary to live and get the things you want, but if you set unrealistic salary expectations, then the constant grind to achieve it will eventually catch up with you. Instead, every executive resume writer will suggest looking at your current finances, what possessions would make you happy and how much money you need to live comfortably. Taking the time to do so can be eye-opening in either a good way or a bad way. The main idea here is to not focus on the size of the paycheck solely, since long-term happiness usually doesn’t stem from it.

Love What You Do

If you dread the thought of getting up to go to work every morning, then it may be time to reevaluate your career goals. Sometimes the mental aspect of not liking your job will outweigh the size of the paycheck significantly. The happiest executives are the ones who base their goals off of enjoying what they do every day. This doesn’t mean you have to brush up your LinkedIn profile and start looking for a new job if you aren’t happy at your current one, but it may mean you need to set new goals and make little changes. Achieving goals is all about perspective and being realistic. Small victories throughout the course of your career make a big difference in having a positive mindset.
Professional Resume Services is one of the top resume writing services because we focus on every one of our clients as individuals. We understand everyone has different goals and are motivated differently, so we will adapt and cater to those needs and desires. If you struggle with setting attainable goals that will make you truly happy, we can help you think about certain aspects you may not have considered before. We are always available when you need us, so feel free to contact us when that time comes.

How Your Boss Can Impact Your Future Career

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executive profileWhether you like your current boss or not, it’s important to understand they can have a major impact on your future career. In a perfect world, we would all have a boss we get along with very well and who understands when we want to advance our career. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the reality, and getting along with the boss is sometimes more difficult than you want it to be. In addition to writing resumes that get you hired, you have to know whether your boss is helping or hurting your future career opportunities. Here are a few aspects to consider in this regard.

Not Giving You The Credit You Deserve

If your boss has a tendency to take credit for the work you’ve done, you may need to step in and take action. Of course, it’s not the best idea to confront them with a negative tone, but there’s usually no harm in having a positive conversation with them about it. Most of the time the rest of your organization will know the work you put into any given project and know you’re the one who should get the most credit. If your boss refuses to give you credit for any projects you do, then you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels with no opportunities for career advancement.

Picking Favorites in The Office

Every boss has their favorites. You would never put that you were your boss’s favorite person in your executive profile, but it definitely helps when it comes to advancing in your career. The best thing to do is go out of your way to get on your boss’s good side, in addition to delivering high quality work. Find out about some of their hobbies or interests and strike up conversations with them. Making this personal connection without overstepping boundaries will keep you at the forefront of their mind when other opportunities arise. Again, this information won’t go on your executive profile, but it’s human nature for your boss to like you more if they feel a connection with you other than working in the same building.

Constantly Providing You With Urgent Projects

Your boss may give you urgent projects from time-to-time, but if every single project is so urgent that you can’t get your own work done, it may be time to address it with them. The best resume writing service always suggests adding achievements and accomplishments on your resume, but an unreasonable boss can prevent this from happening. If you simply can’t get your work done because of these projects, let your boss know what’s on your plate and ask them to help you prioritize projects. You’ll feel less stressed as a result and your boss should be open to helping you out.
Professional Resume Services is known as the best resume writing service, but our services go beyond simply writing a resume. We are here to help you with any aspect of your career. Whether you’re searching for a job, looking to advance with your current employer or want to explore a new career, we have some great resources to help you. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you need any assistance with your present or future career.

These Day-to-Day Actions Can Advance Your Career

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Getting a promotion to advance your career doesn’t happen overnight or by accident. After months, or maybe even years, of hard work, you may be considered for advancement. But you can’t just wait around and expect a promotion based on the length of time you’ve been with a certain company. Your executive profile may indicate you’re qualified for a higher-level position, but your work ethic has to back it up. Here are some daily actions to consider doing in order to put your career aspirations on the fast track.

Demonstrate Your Skills And Abilities

As an executive, you are likely involved in many different meetings at your job. If there’s a certain position you are striving to earn, then demonstrate your skills and abilities to handle the position even when you don’t have the position yet. This can include speaking up in meetings to show your competence and become recognized. Acting like you’re in the role you want can eventually lead to it becoming a reality.

executive profileBe A Leader

Your executive profile may indicate leadership abilities, but you have to show those abilities on a daily basis. Be a mentor or coach for other employees in your organization. The more you help others, the more rewards and recognition will come your way. And you’ll likely feel more satisfaction since the entire company will benefit from your efforts.

Continue Your Education

The best resume writing service always suggests continuing your education or seeking professional development. Not only will these look great on a resume if you’re looking for a new job, but your current employer will also take notice. Taking different courses demonstrates your commitment and willingness to learn and take on new roles. If you’ve taken numerous courses and still aren’t getting where you want to be with your career, then it may be time to work on new resumes and cover letters for the position you want to apply for within a different company.

Never Only Do The Minimum

Doing only the minimum amount of work to get by every day won’t help advance your career. Going above and beyond the job description is one of the best ways to get noticed. Just be careful to not overstep boundaries with the wrong people. It never hurts to offer assistance or volunteer to take over a project though.
Professional Resume Services is known as the best resume writing service, but we believe we are more than that. We enjoy helping people find new jobs, as well as provide helpful tips on advancing their career. Whether you need assistance writing resumes and cover letters, or if you’re stuck in a current position and striving for a promotion, contact us to see how we can help you out.

These Work Behaviors Could Cost You Your Job

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Your workplace behaviors can play a large role in shaping your career. No matter how skilled and experienced you are, if you have poor workplace habits and are difficult to work with, then you won’t reach the career levels you desire. When writing cover letters for resumes, it can be valuable to demonstrate positive work behaviors, but then you have to back them up while on the job. Here are some of the most common workplace behaviors that could derail your career.

executive resume writerParticipating in Gossip

No one likes a gossiper except for a gossiper themselves. However, gossip is inevitable in a workplace since you spend most of your day with the people in your office. It’s important to be social with your co-workers, but choose your conversations wisely. A gossiper is generally seen as an untrustworthy person, so you don’t want to fall into that category.

Taking Personal Calls on Company Time

What if your executive resume writer took a personal phone call as they were helping you write the perfect resume? This not only appears to be unprofessional, but it is also a distraction for other people. Not to mention your work production would decrease if you’re constantly answering personal calls or texts throughout the day. Answering an occasional text message in an emergency usually isn’t a problem, but if it can wait until the end of the day or your next break, then hold off on answering it.

Unwillingness to Learn New Things

When writing a professional resume, you have to demonstrate your willingness to learn new things. Whether it’s multiple roles or learning a new technology, your desire for growth will be evident in the workplace. As such, if you are unwilling to learn new things, people will take notice as well. And if this behavior continues, you’ll not only be passed up for promotions and raises, but you could lose your job as well.

Doing Too Much

An executive resume writer always tries to limit the job duties on your resume to the most relevant ones impacting your company. A common workplace behavior is multitasking too much. When you do too many jobs at one time, you won’t be great at any of them. Before your work product begins to suffer, talk to your boss about shifting responsibilities so you don’t earn a bad reputation for doing poor work.
Professional Resume Services understands the importance of workplace behaviors when it comes to getting and keeping jobs. You can demonstrate your typical workplace behavior when writing cover letters for resumes, but you also have to backup your words with actions. For more information on this topic or anything related to resumes or job searches, feel free to contact us at any time.

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Most executives have a lot of experience and have accomplished many different things. However, if you don’t keep track of them all, it’s easy to forget them over the years. Tracking your work wins is important for many reasons. You may want to present the accomplishments to your boss when you think you need a raise, or you may need to update your LinkedIn profile for the first time in a while. Regardless, tracking your work accomplishments as they happen will help you refer to them quickly and easily, and here are some tips on how to do it.

Keep A Journal

Sometimes writing your accomplishments the traditional way with a pen, paper and a journal is most effective. Keep the journal handy at your desk so you can easily pull it out and add a new entry as needed. Just remember to write down as many details as you can so it’s easy to recall it when writing an effective resume.

Utilize A Voice Recorder

Don’t have your journal handy, or don’t have time to write down your accomplishments anywhere? Pull out your phone and record the feat verbally. Then you only have to remember to go back and document the recording when the time is more convenient for you.

Download A Reliable App

There are several apps for your mobile device you can download to keep records like these. Any executive resume writer will tell you to document more details than you think is necessary, because you can always filter through them later and only include the most important ones on your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Update Your Resume

Keeping a running update on your executive resume is probably the best way to keep track of your accomplishments. It will make the process of writing an effective resume much easier when it’s constantly updated. You may choose to write more information than needed on a resume and edit it later, or you can keep it clean and make a simple bullet point entry every time you accomplish something new.
Professional Resume Services wants to help make your resume writing experience as seamless as possible. When you work with an executive resume writer, you’ll understand the importance of tracking your work wins and how to display them prominently on your resume. Be sure to contact us if you are in need of help with any aspect of writing your executive resume.

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Traditional ways of networking still exist today, but there are plenty other ways you can meet professionals. As an executive, it’s easy to get caught up in the traditional ways of networking, such as attending formal events, speaking engagements, seminars and passing out resumes and cover letters at business meetings. However, with the digital and social media age peaking at its highest level, new networking techniques are being used to connect with professionals effectively. Here are some of the top new ways to network today.

executive bioNetworking While Exercising

Building a professional network doesn’t have to be limited to wearing business attire. Plenty of connections are made while exercising at the gym and other places. This is especially true in organized fitness and group activities, where several people are working out together. Some people prefer to meet others through their LinkedIn profile first and then connect at the gym or similar events, just so they are familiar with each other ahead of time. While social media is great for making initial connections, there is no substitute for face-to-face communication.

Conversation Differences

The language used in your executive bio doesn’t need to be used in conversation anymore. Nowadays, conversation starters don’t usually revolve around a career. Instead, the conversation tends to shift to what the person’s lifestyle is like, including work-life balance. Having a solid 9-5 job is still important for many people, but it’s more impressive to have freedom to do the things they want to do while having a stable career. Listen in on some conversations at a networking event you attend and you may be surprised at the discussions taking place.


Whether you’re an aspiring executive fresh out of college or an experienced veteran, multitasking is essential today. Many executives with children have to be creative in their networking efforts. Some parents will schedule playdates with other executives who have kids, so the kids can play while the adults connect. This usually isn’t a place to exchange a formal executive bio, but getting creative with multitasking can help improve your work-life balance exceptionally.
At Professional Resume Services, our services go beyond simply writing effective resumes. Our experts stay on top of the latest trends in networking as well, since the two go hand-in-hand. For more tips on how to effectively network, or for more executive job search assistance, feel free to contact us at any time.