Whether it’s your first day or you’ve been in your job for years, asking questions of your bosses and colleagues can seem like a scary proposition. In job interviews, we all paint ourselves as experts who are ready to walk into any role and do it without breaking a sweat, so it can seem embarrassing and even risky for your career to admit there’s something you don’t know. However, the reality is actually quite the opposite.
Asking questions can be incredibly beneficial to your career prospects, as well as your day-to-day job satisfaction. As stressful as admitting to someone that you don’t know something or need their help, it’s far worse to sit at your desk getting increasingly panicky about not being able to do it, but being too proud or scared to ask for the assistance you need. Plus, research has found that people who ask questions are perceived to be more competent, likeable and more creative. So now it’s officially 2020, why not start asking them?
If it is your first day, for example, asking what you should focus on and who the key people for you to meet are will demonstrate to your new boss that you’re being proactive and are ready to get on with the task at hand. The latter question will also help you quickly form relationships that will be essential for your success in the role.
Managing your ongoing relationship with your boss also means asking the right questions. In one-to-ones, why not ask what one thing you could be doing that would make their lives easier? It’s a question they won’t expect and one that shows how willing you are to keep on improving and growing, as well as demonstrating a focus on their needs that they’ll appreciate.
One of the most difficult conversations you’ll have with your boss is when you decide to ask for a raise. It’s so stressful and fraught with potential disaster that many people would rather just avoid the subject and never get a raise, but if you’ve asked and been turned down, you still have the opportunity to ask what you can do to improve your chances in the future. This is something you’d never know if you hadn’t asked in the first place.
So, never feel like you can’t ask questions at work. If you ask the right ones, you could be opening the door to a much brighter future.
Can you think of any other questions you need to start asking in this new decade? Let us know in the comments below!