When you start a new job, it takes time to become acclimated, and it can be difficult to determine if you are meeting your new boss’s expectations. Being proactive and asking for feedback can help ensure your current performance is on par – if you request it effectively. Get the right kind of feedback at a new job with these tips:

  • Pick the Optimal Time

If you ask for feedback too soon, your manager will not be able to provide much insight, since they may not have witnessed you doing meaningful work yet. Wait until you have transitioned from introductory training and had a chance to tackle a core job duty before you ask how you are performing (such as after a week). This will give your manager time to see how you are catching on to key tasks and have more helpful feedback for you.

  • Give a Heads-Up

Do not catch your manager off-guard by casually asking for feedback without notice. They may not be prepared to give thoughtful feedback on the spot. Instead, give your boss a heads-up: ask if you can schedule a quick meeting to go over your performance, any areas that could use work, and how well you are meeting expectations. By knowing about the request ahead of time, they have the opportunity to think of clear and detailed feedback, with specific examples.

  • Communicate Clearly

When you meet with your boss regarding feedback, be direct with what you want to accomplish with the conversation. If you are too broad with your request (such as “I was wondering how I am doing?”), you are likely to get a vague response (i.e., “you are doing fine so far”) in return. Communicate clearly what you want to learn. For example, “What results do you want to see?” or “Is there anything I could do to establish relationships with my coworkers better?”

  • Ask Follow Up Questions

Do not leave the meeting with your boss without being confident that you understand all the feedback you received. It is especially important if you heard of any constructive criticism on areas in which you could improve. Ask follow up questions to ensure you are on the same page as your boss, such as timeframes in which you should achieve milestones, specific actions you should take, and any other recommendations.

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