Establishing Your Manager’s Expectations


Now that you have finally found a job, you may be a little nervous about starting off in a new job, company and working with a new manager. Building a great working relationship with your manager can begin with a meeting to set expectations and to discuss preferences of working style. 

Here are a few questions you might discuss in the meeting.

Working and Reporting Style 

  • How often would you like to meet with me? 

  • Would you prefer that we communicate in person or by email? 

  •  How often would you like me to check in/touch base or report to you on what I’m doing? 

  • Is there anyone you would like me to consult with on a day-to-day basis? 

  •  How would you prefer I deal with questions that come up?  Should I contact you by email or should I save my questions for regularly scheduled meetings? 

Your Role on the Team 

  • What do you see as my role on this team? 

  • What kinds of activities should I be prepared to participate in, in addition to my work assignment (e.g., team meetings, presentations, etc.)? 

  • Can you give me a brief overview of how the team functions, lines of communication, collaboration, and so on? 

  • What are the main expectations you have of me in terms of my contribution to your team? 

  • What are your specific priorities for this team or this department? 

Being Part of the Company 

  • Are there other departments in the organization that we work closely with? 

  • Strategically, what other areas of the company’s work should I consider besides the work of our immediate team? 

  • Are there any larger background issues in the company I need to know about that might impact the work of this team (e.g., fiscal year-end, company merger, recent company news, new systems implementation, new policy implementation, government/legal issues etc.)?

Asking these questions will help you to develop a solid foundation for your relationship with your new manager. Together you'll set expectations from the start to avoid any confusion in your first few weeks and months at the company. This is an essential step when you start a new job and will set you up for success going forward.

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