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Tips For E-mailing Your Boss

Follow these Dos and Don'ts before you hit "Send"

DO

  • Keep it formal. If Mr. or Mrs. is over the top in your office, stick with a full first name.
  • Make your boss the first to know. You never want him/her to hear something problematic before you've had the chance to address the issue with them.
  • Set up meetings to talk about sensitive issues like your salary. Just don't mention why you want to talk in the e-mail.

DON'T

  • Get casual. If you're talking to a person who can fire you, your message shouldn't start with the words "Hey, there" or "Yo."
  • CC your boss's boss or peers. Whether you end up making him/her mad or look bad, or just embarrassing yourself, nothing good can come of it.
  • Send "important" messages late in the day, especially on Friday, or when your boss is on vacation—unless it's an emergency. You'll stress out while waiting for a response. And your boss will just be annoyed by the interruption.
  • Ever send an e-mail when you're mad. Never. Go ahead and write it (it'll make you feel better). But then hit "Save" and revisit it the next day. Chances are you'll be glad you didn't hit "Send."

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