We’ve all been there. Picture the scene: it’s your first day in a new job and you want to impress the boss, so you nod along enthusiastically when they start talking to you about protocols and procedures… which actually make as much sense to you as Pythagoras Theorem.
According to careers experts, that’s one of the simplest things the majority of us get wrong when we’re the newbie… yup, nodding along too much and not asking enough questions is a big no-no.
When speaking to Marie Claire, Leadership Coach and Neuroscience Practitioner Dominique Stillman said that new starters who furiously agree when their employer is talking to them, despite not understanding a word they’re saying, are putting themselves at an instant disadvantage.
“A common mistake is lacking the confidence to ask questions – nodding or stating understanding when in fact it’s not there,” she explained.
“Asking questions for the first few weeks is an expectation and builds trust. It can actually be unnerving if a new person has no questions.” So basically, cash in on those early few weeks where it’s expected that you’re not going to know everything, before it’s too late to ask “What does that mean?” or “Where does this paperwork go?” without looking a bit silly.
Director of Smart Coaching & Training, Isla Baliszewska, agrees too. “Asking questions is always good as it shows interest, a desire to learn, and engagement,” she said, before adding, “However, pick the right questions to ask, at the right time, to the right person for the right reason and don’t overdo it.”
Obviously the most important questions to start with is “Do you guys have a vending machine here? And is it okay if I leave early on Friday?” Right? No? We’ll see ourselves out.
This post first appeared in Cosmopolitan.UK