Career Coaching: Build Your Strength By Asking For Help
by Ramon Greenwood
Forget the macho mode. You are not expected to know everything or to be perfect in all regards as your pursue your career goals.
Never be afraid to admit you need help and then ask for it. Many careerists, otherwise smart and capable, hamstring themselves by believing they lose face if they say, "Hey, I don't understand this problem, much less what to do about it. Please help me."
Career Tip: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is just the opposite; it is a sign of strength and maturity. When you ask for help, you are paying a compliment to the one you ask. You are saying, "You know something I don't know. I trust you."
Everyone likes to be asked to help. It's the rare person who will refuse to assist those who admit a need.
It is paradoxical but true; when you control your ego and ask for help on your career path those to whom you turn for assistance end up being in your debt. You will often secure a relationship with a mentor who will add a strong element to your career.
None of this is to suggest that it is always easy to ask for help. Admitting a shortcoming tramples a bit on the ego.
If you've made a mistake and need help correcting it admit the miscue right away. Nobody is perfect. You have a right to make a few mistakes. If you act promptly, there is usually time to correct the situation. It is well to heed Confucius who declared, "Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes."
If you are working for a boss who doesn't accept this premise, you are in a relationship that doesn't bode well for your career path.
Career Tip: Don't ask for help in order to duck responsibility, to take a shortcut, or so you can sit on your butt. Make your best effort. If you still come up short, then reach out for assistance.
Volunteer to help others. Step in to offer a hand in finishing a tough project. Let it be known that you are ready to help those with less experience. You never know when those associates can help you.
Never be shy about giving credit to those who shared their knowledge and experience with you.
When you get help, be sure to complete the transaction by expressing sincere appreciate." That simple step, often overlooked, paves the way to ask for more assistance when it is needed.
If you are working in an environment where people don't share knowledge and help one another, you are in an unhealthy situation. Give carefully consideration to leaving for a new position.
Ramon Greenwood may be contacted at http://www.commonsenseatwork.com firstname.lastname@example.org
To get more common sense career advice on how to protect and advance your career during tough times, sign up at http://www.CommonSenseAtWork.com for a free subscription to Ramon Greenwood's widely read e-newsletter and participate in his blog. He coaches from a successful career as Senior VP at American Express, author of career-related books, and a senior executive/consultant in Fortune 500 companies.