Career - 5 Questions You Should Never Be Afraid to Ask at Work

Career - 5 Key Questions You Should Ask Your Boss

While no one wants to stand out for the wrong reasons, it's important to speak up for yourself at work. If you are struggling to muster the nerve to confront your employer, here are five career questions you should never be afraid to ask.


  1. When can I take my vacation? Research suggests that vacations are good for our physical and mental health. Unfortunately, according to Glassdoor, U.S. workers only use about half of their earned paid time off. Why? For most people, it boils down to fear. While some worry that an ill-timed vacation will put them behind schedule; others think it will be used against them, when promotion time arrives. If you are letting your vacation days pile up, now is a good time to cash them in and prioritize your well-being.

  1. Can we discuss a pay raise? No employer is looking to take on unnecessary overhead; however, this shouldn't stop you from asking for what you deserve. If you are too nervous to broach the subject, consider doing so after a big sale or accomplishment. You should also avoid asking during high-stress times, when your employer may be struggling with bigger issues. If the answer is no, ask when you can expect a raise. This is a good way to create a little leverage further down the road.

  1. Can I get a performance review? It may sound like an invitation for unnecessary stress; however, this can be an effective tactic for standing out among your peers. Most employers will appreciate your desire to improve or clarify key responsibilities. If you get some negative feedback, you can use this information to enhance your performance. In the end, this simple request could improve your chances of a promotion or a raise in the months or years to come.

  1. Are you open to telecommuting? According to a Gallup survey, just over 40 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time telecommuting for work. This growing trend appeals to employees for obvious reasons. When properly employed, the work strategy can also help business owners save money. If you're looking for a way to sell your idea, consider citing studies, which have shown that remote workers tend to be more loyal, happier and more productive.

  1. Will I be able to advance my career working here? Personal development is a key part of a successful career. If your employer can offer more training or allow you to work on a certification, that could have a huge impact on your future. If, on the other hand, you've topped out at your current job, this is something you need to know. By asking the question, you may be able to prompt action on the part of your employer. At bare minimum, you will have a better understanding of what you need to do to reach your long-term goals.


Walking Through the Fear

Countless studies have shown that jobs are responsible for causing the most stress among American adults. What's more, this trend appears to be getting worse, thanks to modern demands and increased business competition. If your job is taking a toll on your physical or mental health, you should take action. By standing up for yourself and asking direct questions, you may be able to promote change, which can ease stress and enhance your happiness at work and at home.

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