Questions to Ask When you Receive a Work Assignment

When you get any work assignment it’s important you ask your supervisor these 4 questions to not only impress them, but also to make sure you complete your task efficiently and accurately.

1. When Is the Deadline?

It’s important to know your deadline so you can prioritize your tasks accordingly.

Sometimes a supervisor might leave it to you to set a deadline for yourself. When this happens, you should set a deadline for a few days after the day you think you will actually complete it so you can make sure it will be done on time. Setting a viable deadline also allows your supervisor to hold you accountable if you let them know the assignment will be completed by a certain time. 

Forbes also brought up another powerful question you can ask in regard to deadlines is “How long do you think this project should really take?” When you ask this question, you are essentially telling your supervisor, “we understand that there’s a difference between the deadline they give to employees and the deadline they would have hit when they were in our job.”

2. Who Is This For?

Working on a project for a client is very different than working on a project for your company. Clients might have particular style guides and brand colors you need to follow that differ from your company’s guidelines. 

It’s also important to know who it is for so you can make sure your work appeals to the target audience. Writing copy for a 50+ demographic is very different from writing copy for a teen demographic. According to Qualified Staffing, it’s also worth it to ask who it’s for because the company might have templates you can use or examples of similar projects you can reference to make sure your project aligns with the audience’s expectations. 

3. What Is This For?

The assignment could be a small part of a large project or an ongoing task. It’s important to know where your assignment fits inside the “big picture” objective. 

Is there anyone I should talk to about this project?

According to The Muse, if it is a larger project, “there may be individuals who you should be collaborating and splitting the workload with” so it’s worth knowing who the key players are for the project. 

4. What Does A Positive Result From This Assignment Look Like?

Of course, you want to feel like you reached the goals of the assignment so it’s worth asking your supervisor how you should measure success. Success metrics could come in the form of conversion rates like newsletter sign ups, sales, engagement, event attendance, social media followers and more. Also, being clear on that objective means you can pivot your strategy if it’s not performing the way you hoped. 

Another advantage of asking about success metrics about your assignment is that you understand how your task relates to the overarching goals of the company. This provides motivation and proves that you’re working toward the business’s best interests.

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