Starting a remote job is hard. With everyone hiding behind a computer screen, it’s not clear who is who, who is working on what, where important files are kept, how everything is done, and most importantly, who are the employees. New members are expected. Ambiguity can be a challenge, yes, but as I’ve learned from interviewing over 500 experts, ambiguity can also be an opportunity.
Uncharted territory or undefined expectations provide new hires with the opportunity to advance and demonstrate how hungry they are to succeed. To help guide you to success in your new job, I’ve outlined some questions new hires can ask a manager. After clarifying each one, you’ll feel like you have a better understanding of your new workplace.
1. “What does success look like in my role? What are my responsibilities and what are my responsibilities? “
Asking this question can ensure that you are managing what others expect you to manage — and doing what others expect you to be doing.
2. “What can I do at the end of the first month, three months and six months?”
Even if your manager doesn’t mention it, they still have an idea of how fast they expect you to get up to speed. Clarification can ensure that you stay above expectations.
3. “Who do I report to every day?”
If you have multiple managers, ask, “How should I allocate my time between you and ____ people?” to prevent others from thinking you’re working exclusively with them — and overworking you.
4. “What will our daily and weekly cooperation be like?”
Different managers have different expectations. When in doubt, try asking, “Is it helpful for us to check in regularly?” followed by “What is most convenient: Weekly? Twice a week? “
5. “What have your top performers done that you would also suggest me to do to make your life easier?”
Such a question can help you not only understand your manager’s work style, but also show that you’re eager to learn — and eager to perform.
6. “Who worked on this project before me? Could you please introduce me to them? “
It’s stressful to inherit someone’s work and not know their methods and practices. A 30-minute conversation with your predecessor (if they’re still around) can save you 30 hours of research and guesswork afterward.
7. “What folders should I have access to — and what files/templates should I review and use?”
Knowing the three folders you should pay attention to and the five templates you should use for your work can, again, save you hours of digging (and redoing).
8. “Can I share calendar invitations to upcoming meetings that you think I should attend?”
It’s important to be seen and heard when you’re new — and you can only be seen and heard if you’re in the room. If you don’t ask, you could be overlooked and miss meetings where people expect you to be there.
9. “Are there any upcoming deadlines or milestones that I should know about or can help with?”
You may have a deadline before you start working, especially if you’re replacing someone else. Knowing what they are can help you avoid last-minute shuffling or missing deadlines at all.
10. “Is there an up-to-date org chart or team list that I can refer to?”
Knowing who reports to whom — and who does what — can help you better navigate the politics of your new environment, as well as figure out who is coming to do what more effectively.
11. “What is the usual procedure for this?”
Each team has its own…
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