QUESTIONS THAT WORK WHEN:
Taking on a New Job or
Chance favors the prepared mind.
If the only constant is change, why do so many workers think success is doing the same work the same way, day after day? The marketplace of the world is rapidly changing its priorities, and the only way to keep up is with careful inquiry. You need to keep on questioning the very basics of what you are doing. In many workplaces, what was critical the day before is quickly forgotten in the face of a new crisis. As you change jobs, questions are the best tool to help you move into the future. Those new on the job are the subject of speculation and, in some tightly knit workplaces, seen as threatening outsiders. Positive questioning develops the helpful relationships that will alert you to problems. Asking questions shows that you are ready to learn, that you appreciate the expertise of those you work with, and that you are ready to contribute.
If there is a change in ownership of your company or you have a new supervisor, you effectively have a new job. Beware; many new managers are so busy, they won't ask to see whether you know their priorities. You can discover their concerns only by focusing your inquiry and keeping your eyes and ears open. If a supervisor does not give you clear objectives, you have to set them yourself by asking questions. Inquiry can be key to getting your supervisor to sign off on your personal goals, to back your efforts, and to appreciate your accomplishments. There is usually little profit in working extra hours on a project your boss or management deems not a priority.
Your workplace should be a place where you are told not only what to do but why to do it. Asking questions encourages the give-and-take that creates meaning.