6 questions to ask your new boss
New year, new job, new boss. That means new goals, new responsibilities and new expectations. Yep, it’s a lot to take in - and sometimes it can lead to feeling overwhelmed, overworked and disheartened.
But instead of dealing with your troubles by spreading chismis about your boss, why not sit down with him or her to ask a bunch of questions and clear the air?
When you begin a new role, it can be difficult to know what is expected of you. While you might be furnished with KPIs and annual targets, there’s a certain amount of mind-reading expected when it comes to how your boss prefers certain things to be handled or dealt with. The best way around the situation? Ask him or her! You need to figure out their work and management style, as much as they need to get to know you.
So, once you’re settled in your new office - or even if you’ve been there a while but are having trouble connecting with your boss - initiate a casual meeting to have a chat and ask these six simple questions.
- What are your career aspirations in this company?
You could also ask how they climbed the ladder to get to their position. Some of this can be gleaned from information online, but asking about their career trajectory can give you some great insight on the company and how it promotes staff. Did your boss earn his or her role through multiple wins and hitting goals, or was it a case of someone leaving and a spot needing to be filled?
- What can I do to make YOU more successful?
Having the answer to this question will allow you to have your priorities in order - plus, it shows your boss you are completely invested in his or her success, not just your own. Understanding your boss’s hopes and aspirations for you will only help you become a better, more effective, employee.
- What do you value most in your employees/team?
Do they thrive on face time with staff, or do they prefer people to work autonomously? Does your boss value creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, or an ability to stick to the status quo with a meticulous attention to detail? Knowing what they value will ensure you can provide it!
- What can I do differently around here?
You’re in a new job, right? So how can you do it better than the last guy? Asking your boss what you can do better will open a door for him or her to describe what they really want you to achieve. Your boss might give you insights into ‘annoying’ behaviours of your predecessor, or let on that they are “so sick of XYZ never getting done”. Every little detail helps you to become a star hire.
- How - and how often - would you like to receive my feedback?
No one sees eye to eye 100% of the time, and you’re going to have moments when the two of you butt heads. Finding out how your boss would prefer you approach him or her with feedback will help prepare you for dealing with any potential disagreements. Some will prefer to be emailed, while others would appreciate a straight-up approach. An ideal scenario would be to settle on a monthly catch-up where you can share feedback, updates and expectations.
- Why did you hire me?
The ultimate question! You should know why they hired you (because you’re the best, of course!) but it’s important to understand the details behind their decision. What was it that made you better than the other candidates? Your boss’s answer might surprise you, but it will help you focus on exactly what your boss believes you can do to help the team, and the business.
The answers you receive from these questions will undoubtedly help you do your job better. You’ll have a stronger understanding of what’s expected of you, and you will see things more clearly from your manager’s point of view - and that’s a recipe for success for you both. Apir!
Want to get on your boss’s good side this year? Check out more of Monster’s insights at our Career Centre.