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I've been recently hired to do web development, something that I always had interest in but did not have any experience outside of studying on my own time. I am very thankful for this position and I feel like I am doing a good job here, I feel like I am displaying a high capability for learning quickly, legitimate interest in the problems presented and effective implementation of solutions.

However, I have had no real feedback on my work, and I don't have a real notion of how well I am meeting my employer's expectations. Would it be acceptable to ask my superiors how well I am being perceived in the company? If after this month that passed I am considered a good hire? I am curious to know and I am also open to any criticisms that I may never be aware of if they don't tell me.

I want to know if this is a common or acceptable request for a recent employee to make, and if so, how to best do it?

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    Absolutely you can and should ask for feedback. Being proactive about such things is a very positive step. And you can then build on any constructive feedback you may receive. – Jane S Jun 8 '15 at 11:59
  • My biggest fear is that maybe they haven't yet formed an opinion and that I might put my superiors "on the spot" by asking this question, so I want to ask tactfully. – bpromas Jun 8 '15 at 12:09
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    Honestly I can't think that is an issue. They will have already formulated an opinion of your work. It's never, ever bothered me to have a junior programmer ask me how I felt they were going. – Jane S Jun 8 '15 at 12:12
  • Shifted my comments to an actual answer :) – Jane S Jun 8 '15 at 12:14
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    Thanks for the answer :) I'll give it a bit of time for more answers to come in, if you don't mind. I'm curious to see what others have to say. – bpromas Jun 8 '15 at 12:29
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Jane's answer addresses "should you do this?" but I will get at more, "how should you do this?"

How to approach this?

I myself did this only a few weeks ago. I setup a meeting with my manager and communicated ahead of time that I wanted to talk through "how am I meeting expectations?"

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Allow them to prepare. Nearly no one will be able to come up with meaningful things on the spot, unless you are completely failing. So give them time - I sent an email at the beginning of the week (meeting was on Friday) so they would know the topic in advance.
  • More specific questions result in more specific feedback. Don't expect much specifics feedback unless you are not meeting expectations. In general, the more specific your request for feedback, the better feedback you will get. So if you want really specific feedback ask very specific questions - "do you feel I am communicating the right amount via email?" will get more specific responses than "am I good at my job" types of questions.
  • Silence is ok. It might have a lot of awkward silences when your boss has to think, that's ok. Most managers are likely not used to employees asking this.
  • Followup on any feedback! If you get anything you can act on, setup a followup time on your calendar (not theirs) for an appropriate time in the future and then touch base to see if you've improved. For example, if you get the "doesn't communicate enough" vibe take efforts to do so and after a few weeks or maybe month, mention it to your manager and see if they have noticed a difference.
  • This is what I was looking for! I took some time to write an email showing appreciation for the oportunity and saying that it is in my interest to guarantee that their expectations are being met. Then I followed by asking them for feedback on a number of specific aspects (comunication, performance, etc), in whatever way they deemed best, either via e-mail or a meeting. – bpromas Jun 8 '15 at 19:04
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Short answer: Absolutely you can and should ask for feedback.

Being proactive about such things is a very positive step. And you can then build on any constructive feedback you may receive.

As per your comment, about forcing an answer, I can't think that this is an issue. They will have already formulated an opinion of your work after a few days or a week. It's never, ever bothered me to have a junior programmer ask me how I felt they were going.

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    Also, not asking for a feedback in early stages may help to develop bad practices that will be hard to get rid of in 1-2 years from now. This will be helpful on O.P.'s future, for him/her to become a much better developer. – Ismael Miguel Jun 8 '15 at 15:58

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