The first few days of a new job can be overwhelming — but also, well, boring.
It’s unlikely you’ve gotten any assignments yet, meaning it’s easy to sit at your desk and twiddle your thumbs (i.e., refresh your inbox every 30 seconds) until it’s time for the next onboarding meeting.
This is not how Libby Leffler approaches things.
Leffler is a former Google employee and Facebook executive who now works as the vice president of membership at SoFi, a personal-finance company. She told Business Insider that the first thing to do when you start a new company is to make sure your goals align with your manager’s.
Leffler said you might frame it like this: “Here are the things I believe we should focus on for the next few months. Are these aligned with your expectations of where you think we should go?”
If you two aren’t on the same page, you can adjust and set some goals together, Leffler said.
Over at The Muse, Lea McLeod suggests some variations on this question. You might ask your boss, “What’s the most important achievement you hope to accomplish in your current role?” That way, you get a sense of your boss’ priorities — and therefore of what your priorities should be.
You might also want to ask, “What is the most important thing your boss cares about?” McLeod wrote that this can help you “see exactly how you and your team fit into the bigger picture.”
Your goal in asking your manager any of these questions is twofold. You want to learn how you can best serve the company, but at the same time, Leffler said, you’re really asking, “How do I achieve the things that you’re looking for in the next timeframe to be considered for an eventual promotion, a raise, or some type of increase in responsibility?”
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Originally published at Businessinsider.com