5 excuses that will get you nowhere

Certain excuses won’t put you in a very productive mindset. Here’s what you should never mutter to yourself at work or during the application process.

“I can’t deal with this.”

Saying “I can’t” certainly doesn’t shine a light on your talents in a work setting. It seems like you’re approaching things with a defeatist attitude, instead of working to find a solution to what’s going on.

Instead of simply saying “I can’t,” come up with something that you can do in its place, or admit that you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to get something done and recommend someone who may be a better help.

“I don’t have time.”

Jonathan Long, founder of performance-based online marketing agency Market Domination Media, influencer marketing agency blerrp and co-founder of the Sexy Smile Kit, says in Entrepreneur that entrepreneurs make this excuse too often.

“Time is our most valuable asset,” he writes. “While we only have 24 hours in a day, we make time for things we want — people we want to see, activities we want to do, etc. The only thing getting in the way are excuses.”

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

After waking up late for the third time this week, you pull yourself into the car, step on the gas, and waltz into work late for the umpteenth time.

Marshall Goldsmith, a business educator, coach and author, writes on his website about why giving an excuse for being late doesn’t change anything.

“When you’re late to an appointment and you hear yourself saying, ‘I’m sorry I’m late but the traffic was murder,’ stop at the word ‘sorry.’ Blaming traffic doesn’t excuse the fact that you kept people waiting,” Goldsmith syas. “You should have started earlier. You certainly won’t have to apologize for: ‘I’m sorry I’m early, but I left too soon and the traffic was moving along just fine.’ If the world worked like that, there would be no excuses.”

“My résumé is just going to get submitted into an online black hole, so I’m not going to bother.”

This is an excuse used frequently by job seekers, Vicki Salemi — an author, public speaker, columnist and Monster career expert — says in U.S. News and World Report.

“That’s like forfeiting a ballgame by not even showing up. You owe it to yourself to show up,” Salemi writes. “The applicant tracking system (better known as the ATS), will get inundated with résumés pegged to each specific job opening, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply.

“While it does help to have a referral so your résumé is flagged differently in the system for recruiters to easily spot, don’t give up. Definitely apply.” she continues.

“That’s not my job.”

This one’s a classic.

John Brandon, Contributing Editor at Inc. Magazine and Inc.com., writes in Inc. that this is one of the excuses that “unproductive people” rely on. He writes about how the people who really keep things moving at work don’t fall into this trap.

“I’ve written before about staying productive by focusing on your job and not doing the work of unproductive co-workers. That’s always a bad pattern to set,” Brandon explains. “Curious, then, that the really unproductive people always seem to notice when they’re doing extra work to help a project. They focus on their role too much and on what everyone else is not doing.

“Truly productive people don’t even care. They just do whatever it takes to get things done and plow ahead, analyzing the exact role definitions later,” Brandon adds.