Learn how to benefit professionally from the support of others
Are you feeling isolated? Unsure of your work? Overwhelmed, or even overworked, yet not feeling like you’re really accomplishing anything? Chances are you’re experiencing early signs that you need to ask for help.
This may sound like the beginning of a terrible infomercial but, stay with me—feeling overwhelmed may be the first indicator it’s time to reach out for help. When asked to contribute to the blog as one of the newer Audienz team members with a minor distaste for writing, I accepted without hesitation. Afterward, I had an “oh shit” moment, realizing I had never actually written something tailored for others to read and learn from. What would I even write about? This was a challenge, but also a great opportunity for me to share my experiences asking for help.
Below are some telltale signs it’s time to use those lifelines and phone a friend.
1. Projects are taking too long
Your wheels are spinning after just getting started (*cough cough*, definitely not me), you haven’t finished new tasks, the details are too much, and the clock is unforgiving. Bringing in someone else, even briefly, can help give you direction to get started and prompt you with new ideas if you’re stumped. Sometimes getting out of your head and into the meat of the project is harder than the project itself. Bouncing ideas off someone, asking for advice, playing a little devil’s advocate, or finding out the process others use in similar situations is all you need to get rolling.
2. Clients are unhappy
We’ve all been there. You’ve checked all the boxes, done your due diligence, and completed tasks on time, yet the client is just not feeling the final product. A fresh perspective or a second set of eyes might be all you need to get a different twist on things or offer the client something new. If anything, maybe you just need a little moral support to keep going? Even if someone has nothing new to offer, a little reassurance can be worth its weight in gold.
3. You want to uplevel
Working hard and getting things done on your own is crucial to professional development, but it can feel less daunting if you revert to the timeless tradition of the buddy system. You might not realize it, but we can act as support to others and learn along the way. Working with a teammate gives you the chance to see into someone else’s work, introduces you to their working style, and provides opportunities to collaborate where you can both be influential. Sometimes it’s less about sponging and more about bringing your experience to the table so you and your teammates can progress together. At the end of the day, offering to share your insights rather than solely asking can be just as beneficial, if not more so, when you are looking to accelerate your growth.
We often carry the assumption that people are always busy, and while that’s not wrong, your coworkers are generally more than happy to lend a helping hand with a genuine ask. Reaching out can be a little nerve-racking, uncomfortable, and even shows vulnerability, but the reward is far greater than going alone. Collaboration builds camaraderie, promotes transparency, and creates a stronger, more communal work culture. Although asking for help has been a mental block that I continually hurdle over, it has been instrumental in my own professional growth. Don’t be afraid to ask for help the next time you’re struggling.
Not sure how to start? Try these:
- Send over a quick ping with your question(s)
- Throw 30 minutes on someone’s calendar
- Bribe someone with lunch