5 Conversations You Need to Have With Your New Boss

Congratulations! You have got the job. It is one of the most exciting phrases every job seeker would love to hear. However, after this, an entire journey begins, being newly hired can be difficult to adjust to and find clarity in such a new space. The first 30-90 days of being an employee are critical, they can make and unmake your career journey. Establishing the right relationships is important, but having the right conversation, especially with your boss is a game changer.

As a new employee, your first instinct would be to jump into projects and tasks, it will be in your interest to push this idea aside, otherwise, you will be overwhelmed quickly, and lose your direction and goal. It is ideal to spend time with your manager very often for the first month even if it is only a short check-in. These meetups are a great way to build a relationship with your manager and get to know his or her expectations from you. It’s your responsibility to reach out to your boss, to find out what you need to know and build a relationship. Don’t expect your boss to reach out to you. Here are five critical conversations you need to have with your new boss.


What Are Your Boss’ Goals or Vision?

The most important question to ask your manager is: “How can I help you and the team be successful?” Pay attention to your manager’s priorities or goals and aim to perfect yourself in those areas. Your boss’ priorities or goals go beyond their expectation of you. Let your boss understand you are ready to meet your tasks and expectation as well as support and help the team and your boss shine as well. Aside from understanding your boss’ goals or vision, clarify your expectations from your boss. Let your boss give you a vivid description of what they expect from you. 

How Will Your Boss Define Your Success?

Ask your boss how your success will be defined whether in the short or medium term. How often will you receive feedback on your performance? Find out practically what success looks like for employees at your level. Getting a clear picture will make your work directly towards this success picture painted for you. This makes you aim for early wins with your boss.

What Is Your Boss’ Preferred Method of Communication? 

As an employee, you need to know the best way to communicate with your boss. In-person, in writing, quick emails, voicemails, and how often? What types of decisions and alignment does your boss want to be consulted on, and what decisions can you make on your own? Your boss’ answers to these questions will give you insight into their management style. You also need to agree on the mode of communication with your boss after finding out which communication style works best for them. A great number of workplace conflicts stems from the lack of agreement on communication needs and style. Having this conversation will alleviate these issues.


What Resources Are Available to You? 

What resources are available for you to thrive? You need to have a conversation about what is available to get your work done and for you to be innovative. This may consist of additional funds, staff, tools, software, etc. You need to have this conversation before circumstances pop up. This forces you to create clarity around what you need to be successful. It also helps your manager support you more effectively by creating critical resources that you need to thrive.


How Do You Improve Your Personal Development? 

Aside from professional growth, your personal development matters. Identify how you want to personally grow in terms of skills, capabilities, and experiences, and ask your boss for support. Use this conversation to gain an understanding of how your job will contribute to your overall personal development. Be open about what areas you feel you are weak in, and what can be done to improve those areas. Find out what projects are available that can help you improve.

Finally, once you had all these conversations it’s time to put into practice everything you have accumulated. The information gathered would serve as a reference point to help you interact with your boss, and your team better but most importantly succeed in your given role.



Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock


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