1. To offer your input on a project you’re not directly involved with.
Being hired for a specific role doesn’t mean your employers don’t want to know your opinion on other matters. Don’t sell yourself short — someone else might speak up before you do. A lot of people approach mobility in jobs as an “up or down” thing, but often overlook the fact that you might need to move from side to side before you can start making your way to the top. In other words, stay curious, and keep a finger on the pulse of the company. Opportunities may open up in unexpected places.
2. A lunch break for a mid-day battery recharge.
Lunch breaks aren’t just encouraged. If you want to maintain your peace-of-mind throughout the work day, they’re compulsory. You won’t be working your best after six continuous hours of labor. Give yourself that well-deserved break — your boss (if they know what they’re doing) will actually prefer it.
3. A performance review — and feedback on what you need to work on.
If for nothing else, THIS is what your boss is there for. Your boss knows you’re human (and that you’ll need time to adapt and adjust to your new environment, if you’re new to the job). Getting feedback from your colleagues is just one way to learn, adapt, adjust, and eventually excel at your job.
4. For letters of recommendation.
Again, your boss and colleagues are only human. They too are cognizant of their role and potential. If it’s obvious you’d benefit from a recommendation letter or referral, they’re probably already expecting you to ask for one. Getting a referral also gives you a chance to benefit from the Ben Franklin effect — a psychological rule that says that you tend to like someone more if you have the chance to do them a favor.
5. For a schedule that’s a good fit for you.
You were hired because your employers believe you’re valuable. They want your ideas, skill set—everything you have to offer. And they want you to be performing at your highest capacity. If there’s a particular schedule that enables you to do your best work, try bringing it up with your manager. If they’re truly concerned with your (and the company’s) happiness, they’ll hear you out and work with you.
6. To share skills or ask for help from other departments.
That’s what your colleagues are there for. Often times they’re better to talk to than your boss—perhaps less intimidating and more approachable. As an employee for a company, you’ve signed up for a collective work environment — use all that you have at your disposal.
7. For help if your workload is too heavy.
Communication is key — if you’re not communicating that you’re nearing under-water levels of work, probably no one knows what you’re up against. And if you don’t let anyone know where you are in terms of workload, you might slip into a cycle where the work keeps piling up and no one’s the wiser. All this is to say that there’s no point in not speaking up. Your discomfort will reveal itself in your work either way.
8. To turn your email off at night.
Being at your email account’s whim 24/7, 365 days a year is crazy. Like we said in the first point of this article, you need time to recharge. Being plugged into one thing all the time is just not a very healthy way to live your life. Make plans with friends, go outside, and “forget” your mobile device at home.
9. For advice from colleagues, regardless of their position in the company.
Some of the greatest friends you’ll make will be at your job, where some of the truest bonds are forged. Go outside your comfort zone and talk to people who may not be in your department. You might learn that you’re more interested in another field. Worst case scenario, you’ll make a friend.
10. To disagree, even if it’s with your manager.
Never second-guess your conscience. Your employer appreciates someone who isn’t entirely appeasing—who questions things and who brings a different perspective to the table. Don’t suppress that. No one wants a Yes Man.