Accessible version of New job or role

The accessible version of the New job or role learning module.

Share on.articles


In this module, you’ll learn simple steps you can take to gain clarity on what you’re supposed to do so you can meet, and even exceed, your manager’s expectations. 

To access the non-conforming version of this module, see the New job or role learning module.

Below is the transcript for the New job or role YouTube video.


Start by asking for the big picture. Why does what you’re doing matter, and to whom? Who benefits from your work? Who is depending on or waiting for you to complete your tasks?   And, ultimately, how does your work contribute to the organization or beyond?

Next, find out how your success on the job will be measured. What’s the required level of quality and how will this be determined?  
You or your manager should put these details in writing so you can be confident you’re both on the same page.

Once this is determined, get specific and measurable instructions and directions. Ask what’s involved in terms of the steps you take, the timeline you should follow, and the quality control measures you can use to complete your job. 

Ask who you’ll interact with at work. This could include those you report to and those who report to you. It could be those who give you work assignments or those who are waiting for you to provide them with something so they can do their work. It could include co-workers, peers, inspectors, staff from other departments, vendors, or customers. Ask for tips to manage those relationships effectively, and any formal requirements for collaboration or reporting. 

Don’t be shy to ask your manager when you should go to them for authority, permissions, support, resources, or 
to find out what you should expect in terms of feedback going forward including how often you’ll meet to check in, and how best to communicate with them.

If you still have questions after this conversation, follow up in writing, asking your manager to confirm what you understood and to clarify any issues you’re still uncertain about.

Tips on how to be successful in a new job or role

Problem: Whether starting a new job, taking on a new role or dealing with a new manager, you likely want to show how good you are at your job. You know how to work hard, but what if that’s not enough? If you’re not sure what your manager really values, it can be challenging to understand what success looks like to them – and working hard without appreciation can be tough.

Doing your best at work can be a source of self-esteem and pride. The reality is, we can’t achieve success or recognition if what we’re being asked to do or what success looks like seems unclear or ever-changing.

Steps to gain clarity

Hello! This is Carlos. I will explain simple steps to gain clarity on how you can meet, or even exceed, your manager’s expectations and help you succeed. 

Clarify tasks

Understand the task at hand.

Clarify success

Ask how success will be measured.

Who's involved?

Map relationships that will help get the job done.

Who can help? 

Know how your manager will support you.

Follow up

Put it in writing. 

Start by finding out exactly what’s expected of you

In this lesson, you'll learn to ask your manager these questions to help you better understand the task at hand…

  • What’s the context and big picture of why I’m doing this work? 
  • What are the specific tasks involved? 
  • What resources do I have available to me to support the work?
  • What is the budget?
  • What are the timelines or deadlines?
  • What am I personally accountable or responsible for? 
  • What key milestones do I need to be aware of?

Asking for specific details 

Asking for specific details on what success looks like and how it will be measured can help you drill down on expectations. 

Delivering on time

Set a deadline with your manager and ask them to review a detailed plan for how to reach your goals.

Number of hours

The hours you work (or working overtime) should not be an indicator of a job well done. 

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Know the specific targets you’re working towards. Is it about revenue, products developed, new clients or partnerships? What’s most important?

Meeting project milestones

Set clear milestones so you know you’re on track and ask your manager to provide feedback and support if you run into challenges.

Positive relationships with other teams

Get specific about how you’ll know relationships are strong between your team and others.

Quality or quantity of work

Ask your manager to share the specifics of what you are to develop, and what quality looks like.

Positive relationships are crucial

Positive relationships are crucial. They’ll not only help you get the job done, but also to get it done well.

What types of relationships are important for you to understand in a project you’re currently working on? Consider who is relevant to the success of your team:

  • Supervisor or manager
  • Senior leadership
  • Colleagues on my team
  • Colleagues on other teams
  • External partners
  • Other

Once you know which relationships are important, dig deeper with your manager to learn any useful history so you can understand how to best work with these specific groups.

How your manager likely wants to support your success

Your manager likely wants you to be successful and wants to support your success. 

You can ask your manager to help you understand the types of support they can offer, and how to best communicate with them—and get feedback—so you can be sure you’re on track.

  • How often will you meet with your manager to check in?
  • What is the best way to communicate with them?
  • How will they provide feedback in a timely way (especially if there are challenges)?
  • Who should you contact if there are urgent issues that need to be resolved?
  • Are there other contacts in the organizations that can provide coaching or mentorship throughout the project?
  • How will they let you know about important changes at work that could impact your ability to do your best?

Knowledge check

See Responses below to see the answers to the following 2 questions.

  1.  Knowing the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your role is important because:
    • It helps you understand how your success will be measured.
    • It can help you set priorities when there are competing demands.
    • It can help you complete your tasks better.
    • All of the above
    • Only a and b

      2. Asking questions when you first start a new job or role can help you to improve:

    • Support from your manager
    • Relationships with others in the workplace
    • Clarity about how to determine priorities
    • Access to help available to you in the workplace
    • All of the above


  1. Only a and b. The key performance indicators won’t help you to complete your tasks any better, but they will help you understand how your success will be measured and this in turn will help you prioritize those tasks that are part of the measurement.
  2. All of the above. Asking good questions at the start not only sets you up for success, it can help you to avoid some of the rookie mistakes.

Tip sheet and resources

We’ve put together a tip sheet with the main learning points of this module. We recommend you save or print it as a reference. There are also free resources you can use if you want a deeper dive on this subject.

We welcome your feedback on this module or any of our resources. Please contact us with your suggestions. 


To add a comment.comments