2 Words To Eliminate From Your Vocabulary To Sound More Polished, Professional & Confident

Be bold in how you present yourself at work.

Professional woman emailing at work insta_photos / Shutterstock

There’s truth to the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” especially in a work environment. Sometimes, it can seem like every other adult knows what they’re doing while you’re standing on the sidelines, trying to keep up. 

Career coach Anna Belyaeva shared her tips for communicating professionally at work, including what not to say and why.

There are 2 words you should eliminate from your conversations to sound more polished, professional, and confident.

“How often do you say the words, ‘I just wanted’ in a professional setting?” she asked. “I just wanted to follow up; I just wanted to check in; I just wanted to see if you had any updates for me.”


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As a career expert, Balyaeva believes that using the words “Just” and “Wanted” makes people sound less confident and unprofessional.


She’s not wrong: Framing a question by saying, “I just wanted,” gives the impression that you’re unsure or feel like what you’re asking is an imposition. 

Instead of saying, “I just wanted,” she recommended being direct, suggesting, “I’m reaching out," or, "I’m following up.”

In a separate post, Belyaeva revealed another sentence people should stop using if they want to grow in their careers: “I hope you’re doing well.”

“Most people use it,” she explained. “When you started in your corporate career, you probably felt like it was necessary and that it makes you sound polite.”


“In reality, it is generic and forgettable, kind of like elevator music,” she said. “It’s insincere — Are you truly invested in the answer? And, it wastes the receiver’s time and email space.”

Instead of saying, “I hope you’re doing well,” she suggested taking a hint from senior leaders and leaving the pleasantry out. “They’re concise and straight to the point,” she said. “So, if you want to be a senior leader, you need to start sounding like one.”

Confident woman emailing at work Bojan Milinkov / Shutterstock


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Imposter syndrome is common at work, especially for people who have been traditionally denied access to the higher echelons of the corporate world. 

Experiencing anxiety in the workplace is incredibly normal, yet feeling like you don’t deserve your role can hold you back from being promoted or included in important decisions.

Executive coach Jule Kim defined imposter syndrome as feeling like “You’re not as smart or as talented as other people think you are and that they’ll discover that you’re some kind of fraud.”

“The reason you think this is because you’re constantly giving credit for your accomplishments to other people or circumstances instead of owning that you did it,” she explained. “You keep giving away all your success, and that tells your brain, ‘You must not be competent because you’ve apparently done nothing.’”


Kim shared a technique for boosting your confidence when imposter syndrome rears its ugly head: “Documenting everything you’ve done, everything you’ve accomplished, worked on, finished, any positive feedback or compliments you’ve received, and put them all in one place.”

This practice means you’re taking ownership of your work and allowing yourself to bask in the glow of being good at your job. 

We’re allowed to take up space in the world, including at our jobs, even if we’re told otherwise. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.