Sometimes it can be really difficult to know the rules at work. Just what can you and can’t you ask? Here are 6 questions that are definitely worth asking. Remember no question is a stupid question, sometimes it’s just more about the way you phrase it.
1. Can I get a pay rise?
Phrased in this way may not get exactly the response you’re looking for, but there’s no harm in enquiring whether or not you are being paid fairly. Most organisations will be able to give you an idea about pay scales and if you don’t feel that you’re being fairly rewarded, then do your market research and present your case. You don’t have to wait for your annual review to ensure you’re being paid your worth.
As in why the hell are we doing this? ”Why” can sometimes sound a little judgemental so for those times when you want to ask, either because you don’t understand or maybe you don’t really feel it’s the right approach, try rephrasing your question a little. Using “Can I clarify our outcome/the reasons behind this approach so that I’m clear?” is more objective and more likely to encourage an open and constructive conversation.
3. How can I get your job?
You may have your eye on your manager’s role but asking them directly could be a little awkward. Asking will show that you want to progress, so ask your manager what steps they took to get into their role and any advice they have to share. This way they will feel respected and more inclined to help you.
4. What’s my future within the organisation?
Career progression can sometimes seem very secretive as though there is some secret plan by leaders and HR. In reality you own your own career development so instead of waiting, why not take the initiative and call a meeting with your manager to talk about your development beyond your current role and where he/she envisages you in the next 3-5 years. This should give you a good idea as to whether you’re on the same page.
5. Can I have more support
Asking for help can sometimes be difficult and a little awkward as we think it comes across as incompetence or weakness. In reality asking for a help is a sign of real strength; it shows you have enough self-awareness to realise that you may need more support in certain areas and that you have enough self-assurance to be willing to accept the help of others.
6. Can I work on something more challenging?
So often people get stuck in roles working on projects that no longer interest or challenge them. Just because you took a job based on a certain role, doesn’t mean that you can’t mould it into your own. If there are areas of the business you’re interested in or other tasks that may appear only to be managed by your colleagues, you’ll never get the opportunity to try these out without asking.
Written by Hayley Wintermantle.