How to Say No to IT Managers Gracefully

IT professionals are often pressed for time, as the information technology industry tends to run on a 24-7 schedule.  When IT managers hand their IT contractors one project too many, what is the best way to gracefully say “no thank you!”  Read on to see some tips for the best ways IT consultants can say no without damaging their reputations with their bosses or IT recruiters.

  1. Don’t say the word “no.”  The key is to phrase your response so it feels like something that agrees with, or at least doesn’t overtly clash with, what the manager has asked for.
  2. Try giving some context.  If you can’t do a project because you’re already overloaded, try giving that context.  Note that this shouldn’t be done in a whiny way.  Simply ask for some help prioritizing, then list all the projects you have on your plate.  This may be enough to make a manager rethink the assignment.
  3. Offer a different solution and attempt to make it seem perfectly in line with your boss’s original idea.  People tend to want to say yes to things when you make them feel like it’s their own idea.  Your best case scenario is to make your boss feel like they actually wanted to assign the project to somebody else in the first place.  If you can’t do that, ask humbly, “Can I make a suggestion?”  and find another way the project can get done (without you staying in the office til midnight).


AVID Technical Resources About AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.