We live in a culture here in the U.S. that places a premium on independence and self-sufficiency. While these are great qualities, they can also be exercised to one’s detriment. Too often I see bright, talented people who believe they have failed or are faltering in their lives. When I ask them to tell me more about what they have done to address the situation, they point to all of the actions they have taken…ALONE. I then hear about the people they know or resources they could avail themselves of only to then hear that they “could not possibly” ask for help or “take advantage” of a situation or relationship.
There is nothing more grating to my spirit than hearing someone say, “I can’t” or “I couldn’t.” Of course you can! Ask for help and you shall receive it…foreign concept? Maybe for you it is… Now, get over it and adopt these straightforward principles.
H is for Hope – You must believe that the glass IS half full. Keep your eyes wide open. Seek the people, information, and resources that are available to you. They may not be immediately apparent, but they are there.
E is to Engage – Nothing great gets accomplished in a vacuum. Stay engaged in as many relationships as you can. It doesn’t have to be a lot of work to do so. Oftentimes, we are too close to our own situation to see the forest through the trees. Asking for help or for information by engaging someone else can often make all the difference in the world.
L is to Leverage – Think broadly about the resources and people who you already know. Leverage as much as you can and it will multiply itself as a result. For example, a client who currently works in a non-profit organization, but also has for-profit experience and is open to jobs in that sector told me, “All of my friends work in non-profits and they all know I am looking for a new job. They don’t know the for-profit sector. I have run out of people to talk to!” Really??? I say look beyond your close circle and think about people you know in other areas of the country, possibly distant relatives or even your neighbors – they all know other people – it’s also important to articulate what you are looking for. First, you are looking for information about professions, industries, specific companies or organizations so that you can focus and target your efforts in seeking employment. By talking with a wide variety of people you can learn more and you will have new directions to explore as your search continues.
P is for Purpose – I believe we’re all here for a reason. Do what it takes to make it your best. Asking for help is key to accomplishing that.
Do not hesitate to ask for help. The key is to articulate it in a way that brings you more information and new people in your network. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies on articulating your message so that others will be better able to help you.