WorkVine: 10 ‘Stupid’ Questions You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask

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By Robert Half September 30, 2014 at 7:00am

Robert Half's WorkVine® blog series addresses the lighter side of the workplace, with fun topics to help you get through the workday.

You just started a new job and want to make a good impression, but you’re afraid of asking what could turn out to be an obvious question and looking dumb.

Don't worry. Go ahead and ask these questions because they’re not stupid questions after all.

1. Is the employee handbook an actual book? The handbook may have a binding and pages, or it may be on the intranet. Either way, you should read it and keep a digital or physical copy handy.

2. Where is the ___? If you’re looking for the restroom, office supplies, the coffee pot or the copier, don’t hesitate to ask a coworker or your manager.

3. Can I take a lunch break away from work? Many businesses encourage employees to take a break away from their computer at some point during the day. But ask your manager about office policies first.

4. What is my firm’s mission statement? Ask or find it online. Knowing more about the foundation on which the company was built can help you better focus your professional goals.

5. Should I be social media friends with my boss and coworkers? Consider whether your posts are appropriate to be seen by work contacts. Take time to observe whether your coworkers are social media contacts with each other.

6. Should I use Facebook at work? As with an earlier question, if you’re not sure what rules your firm has in place, check with your colleagues, your manager or HR. Your best bet is to avoid social media at work until you find out.

7. Are there regular performance reviews? Your performance evaluation is as much of an opportunity for you to assess your successes, goals and salary as it is for your boss to grade your work. Knowing what the boss is looking for may even put you in line for a promotion or raise.

8. What are the perks? You were probably too excited when you got the job to remember every benefit. Check with HR to get the details on your health insurance, personal time off and other perks.

9. What should I wear to work? Workplaces are getting more casual these days, but don’t go in wearing jeans just yet. Better to check with the supervisor first.

10. Can I start at a different time? Not everyone works 9 to 5 these days. Check with your supervisor to see when he expects you to be at work.

What stupid question that wasn’t a stupid question have you asked at work? Let us know in the comments section.

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