Ask Deb: Not Sure What The Boss Is Asking
Ask Deb: Not Sure What The Boss Is Asking
I just started a new job. This is a big step up for me in terms of responsibility and pay. One of the things my new boss is asking me to provide is a monthly status report. I’m not sure what I should include, or what format it should be in. Should I recap what I do on a daily basis, or just give the highlights?

My previous position was my first professional position post-graduation. I did not have to document my time like this, so I’m now at a bit of a loss.


Hi Judi:

Thanks for writing, and congratulations on your new role. In general, when your boss assigns you something that you don’t understand, the best way to handle it is to ask directly. Just say to your boss that you would like to get clarification on what her expectations are for the monthly report, if there’s a specific format she would like it in, and if there are any ongoing projects the status of which she would like tracked.

More broadly, think of the monthly report as an opportunity to market your accomplishments. Rather than think of this as merely a status report for your boss, regard it as a way to highlight your achievements. Your boss is busy managing her own work and that of the rest of the team. Be sure she understands not just the tasks you executed, but also the value you bring to her team. In addition, these monthly reports can be very useful when it comes time for the annual performance review, as they will provide a narrative of what you accomplished during the year.

All my best,