Ca­reer

7 Ques­tions You Should Ask at Work!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CONTENTS -

In a job in­ter­view, ask...

‘‘How did the last per­son with this job do?” You’ve been pep­pered with ques­tions, but you should have a few of your own. A win­ner: ask about the highs and lows your pre­de­ces­sor had. It will give you a deeper sense of what’s ex­pected of you... and show off your drive in a non-braggy way.

With your boss, ask...

“How can I help?” There’s a time for ask­ing about big projects you want to take on, but when your boss is busy, your ques­tions should be fo­cused on her. If she has an af­ter­noon meet­ing, ask if you can gather ma­te­ri­als or even grab lunch for her. She’ll ap­pre­ci­ate that you’re one step ahead, and soon you’ll be tak­ing on the tougher stuff.

In a meet­ing, ask...

“What should I do next?” The key is to show up with valu­able con­tri­bu­tions and not to ask ques­tions on the fly just for the sake of check­ing the I-spoke-up box. Stuff to con­sider: what cru­cial info do you need to get your job done—a spe­cific dead­line?

On a con­fer­ence call, ask...

“Ruchika, any thoughts?” With so many peo­ple work­ing from home, group calls are on the rise. And ques­tions are cru­cial dur­ing phone con­ver­sa­tions be­cause each per­son is miss­ing the vis­ual cues they get from body lan­guage dur­ing an in-per­son meet­ing. Skip open-ended ques­tions tossed out to the group at large, and ask for in­puts from a spe­cific per­son, call­ing her by name.

On the el­e­va­tor, ask...

“How’s it go­ing?” Be­ing po­lite is a good thing, but el­e­va­tor rides are too short to launch into any­thing ma­jor. Save bond­ing mo­ments and work strate­gis­ing for less pub­lic sit­u­a­tions, and ask about some­thing safe, like the weather. And if your col­league is fran­ti­cally tex­ting on her phone? Let it go: some­times, it’s com­pletely okay not to ask.

At a work party, ask...

“How was Paris?” Un­like in the el­e­va­tor, you can be chatty at an of­fice party—they’re great for build­ing re­la­tion­ships. Just don’t get too per­sonal or gos­sipy. Ask­ing a col­league whether so-and-so might be fired, or who’s hook­ing up with whom? To­tally off-lim­its. Think: how was your big va­ca­tion? Are you up to any­thing fun this week­end?

Af­ter a big pro­ject, ask...

“How did I do?” Whether you are a nurse, writer, or run your own com­pany, it’s smart to check in with a su­per­vi­sor or men­tor for oc­ca­sional feed­back. Send an e-mail ask­ing if there’s any­thing you can do bet­ter the next time around. Then? Act on it!

Check­ing your boss’ file in her ab­sence: not a

good idea!

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