How To Discuss Job Expectations With Your Boss

By Danielle Wirsansky on April 12, 2018

Sometimes, when you are a college student, just landing a job can be quite the achievement. It might be your first real job, the first time you are actively working towards supporting yourself, the first time you are dipping your toe into your career field. But often, landing the job is more than just simply landing it. You have to know what you are expected to do so that you can be sure that you do indeed know how to do it, and then, in turn, go and get that work done.

You will have a lot of trouble doing well in your job if you have no idea what your boss expects of you. How many hours are you supposed to work per week? When are they paying you? How much are they paying you? What are you supposed to do on a daily basis? What is the first thing you should do when you arrive to work? The questions could be endless, especially for a college student so new to working.

So once you land the job, how do you go about discussing job expectations with your boss? Read on for some suggestions on how to handle this situation!

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Outline Duties Before You Accept

If you have not already accepted your position, a great way to avoid any drama or miscommunication is to make sure your basic duties/payments/expectations are outlined, made clear, and settled with your boss before you accept the position. By doing so, you know that you and your boss are both on the same page before you even start. It will help you to avoid any hitches when you start and make your start that much easier and smoother a transition.

And clearly knowing your duties ahead of time will help you to avoid any dashed hopes and dreams. Maybe everything sounds awesome—until you realize you are being paid a weekly stipend instead of an hourly wage and that the payment is nowhere near what you would get at an hourly rate job, even if it was paying minimum wage. Maybe you were expecting the position to be part-time, but your boss expects you to be working full time. Maybe you thought that you had the ability to work from home, but your boss needs you to come into the office every day to best do your job. There are a lot of different variables that can come up, that can make or break your job experience. If the job is not the right fit for you based on the outlined duties, you can turn it down before ever getting embroiled in that kind of situation.

If you have already accepted the position, it is not too late! Go ahead and make it your priority, either before you go in for your first day, during training or orientation, or even on your first day to pull your boss aside or to set an appointment to outline your duties so that you can do the best job possible, knowing what they expect of you

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Ask As Questions Arise

Another tactic to make your transition into your new job as easy and successful as possible, and to make sure you are fulfilling the expectations of your boss, is to ask them about said expectations as any questions arise.

Maybe the day is going well and you are dismissed for lunch—only for you to realize that you do not know whether you have a half hour lunch or an hour-long lunch. You do not want to sit and squander your time if it’s only a half an hour, but nor do you want to be late coming back thinking you had an hour but you did not. Or maybe you were given a task to do, and on the surface, it seemed very matter of fact, but now as you are trying to do it, you realize you need more information to get the task done.

A million different questions could arise, but you help no one by keeping them bottled inside and trying to muddle through. Your boss wants you to succeed, because when you do, so do they. So ask before you make a mistake!

Do Not Hesitate to Clarify

Lastly, do not hesitate when a question does arise. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed. Your boss would rather you get the job done right than poorly. Do not wait until you have already started, tried, and made a mess. Do it from the outset an avoid the mistake from the beginning. Your boss will likely appreciate your eye for details and your willingness to seek guidance.

Your first job can be tough, but by taking matters into your own hands and making sure you know what you need to be doing, you can guarantee yourself success!

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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