This is the face of a woman who just put on her out-of-office and isn’t sorry. iStock
1. Taking vacation. Your company has allotted you a certain amount of vacation time per year. It is your right to take this time. An employee that detaches from work and is able to relax and recharge is a much better employee than one that is overworked and stressed. You do not need to apologize for taking the time that your company has committed to you.
2. Turning on your out-of-office responder when you are off. In today’s fast-paced world it can be shocking to some to receive an out-of-office email when you reach out to someone. As a leader, I would much rather receive an out-of-office email response with a person to contact as backup vs. a delayed response or no response at all. Communication is key in life and this is just another way to ensure that people can get answers and support in your absence. No apology needed.
3. Promoting yourself. Over the years I have seen people unapologetically share their wins or awards with others at work and on social media. While I applauded them, I didn’t do the same for myself for fear I would seem narcissistic. Once I began sharing my successes, I realized I now owe an apology for the years when I did not do it. I understand that those that support and care for us feel joyful when they find out that we are doing well. There are others that may admire you from afar and may be inspired by your accomplishments. You only owe an apology if you do not promote yourself and share your wins with the world.
4. How you feel. Too often many of us begin our sentences, “I’m so sorry, but I don’t feel that will work.” When we begin our sentence apologizing for how we feel we take away our power. In order to own your feelings, do not apologize for them.
5. Leaving work to get your child. Everyone has priorities in life outside of work and if they don’t they are not well-balanced. There is no need to apologize for having to get a sick childor leaving work early to catch your child’s game. Leading a balanced life creates a balanced employee.
6. Voicing your opinion. If you choose to apologize for your opinion, you essentially negate your stance. Frequently, women in particular do not want to appear aggressive and they try to soften their statement by apologizing. If you can’t share your opinion without the apology, then I question how strongly you really feel about your opinion.
7. Disagreeing with management. A valuable employee is one that brings a different perspective and approach. There is tremendous value in an employee that is not a “yes” man. Bringing your unique perspective and angle to management is applause-worthy, not worthy of an apology.
8. Making time to take care for yourself and work out. I used to apologize to everyone for making time for myself to exercise. What I have learned is that I am so much calmer and more centered when I do work out that I instead should have been apologizing when I wasn’t taking time to work out.
9. Cutting back on your hours or travel time. Companies have many employees and may not be familiar with your own personal limits, needs and schedule. When you need to cut back on excessive hours or extra travel, there is no need to apologize for it. What you do is reveal yourself as an individual that knows your own limits and respects and cares for yourself and your well-being.
10. Creating boundaries for yourself. When I was much younger, I did not have boundaries established for myself at work. I wanted to please everyone all the time. When I began to establish boundaries, at first I felt badly and would apologize for it. What I have learned is the clearer I am on my needs and boundaries, the easier it is for others to work with me. By not apologizing for my needs, I am able to communicate with others much more effectively.