Even if your dream job hasn’t been invented yet, careers come with lots of milestones: your first day, your first company-wide email and, every year, your annual review. Whether you’re feeling super confident or you don’t know what to expect walking into the meeting with your manager, there are rules to follow to make sure you’re communicating like an adult at work. While you can use power poses to employ winning body language, words (or not saying some specific ones) will serve you best during a one-on-one with your boss. So we chatted with Janice Omadeke, founder of The Mentor Method, a mentor matching service for women in Washington DC, to find out all the words to avoid saying during your annual review.

Stressed girl on a job interview in office

1. Always: If there’s one truth across most industries and career paths, it’s that nothing is always the same. Janice says, “Saying the word ‘always’ sets you up for failure because it’s not accurate. As soon as you say it, your boss will immediately start thinking about the times you didn’t ‘always’ perform the way you’re saying you did.”

2. Never: The opposite of the above is true, too. “Saying the word ‘never’ will make your boss think of the times you acted in the opposite manner.”

3. Umm: It’s important to speak with confidence and buttoned up language to ensure your day-to-day professionalism translates to your one-on-one with your supervisor. “Show that you’re confident, in control and ready for a promotion by avoiding using the filler ‘umm’ when thinking about what to say. Instead, just take a pause, quickly think about what you want to say and respond. The silence will not be as noticeable as you think,” says Janice.

4. Slang terms: We love throwing in a well-timed “hey, girl” into our speech every now and then but only when and where appropriate. And Janice agrees. “This is not happy hour with your best friend. Keep your conversation style formal yet approachable. Phrases such as ‘I know, right?’ or the latest acronym, like YOLO, should be avoided at all costs.”

5. Can’t: Janice sums this one up better than we ever could, “Yes you can. You’re amazing. Take the risk and see it pay off in the end.” And we agree. Outside of a professional setting, of course, we’d say, “You go girl!”

Have you had your annual review this year? Tweet us how it went @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)