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Asking for a Helping Hand at Work

Asking for a Helping Hand at Work

By Caroline Potter, Yahoo! HotJobs

No man (or woman) is an island. Sooner or later, we all need an assist, whether it be with a problem, project or promotion.

Deborah Brown-Volkman, author of The Right Words for the Right Job, notes, "Your career can span 30, 40, 50 years or more, so there's a good chance you'll hit a bump in the road at some time and will need some assistance."

Maybe you're not sure how to ask for a colleague's aid. Or perhaps you're too proud. Put your pride aside and use the following three tips from Brown-Volkman to feel more comfortable with the process, and get the help you need to get ahead.

Strong Isn't Silent

Strong people ask for help. Weak people muddle through a bad situation on their own, often not really resolving anything. Be strong and speak up, advises Brown-Volkman.

"Don't assume that someone will think less of you for opening up and sharing that your career might not be going well at the moment," she says. In fact, rather than judging your situation, your confidante will probably be flattered. "The person you ask will likely feel honored that you asked for her guidance," she says.

There's Strength in Numbers

Two heads -- or more -- really are better than one when it comes to analyzing your problem and deciding what action to take. "With other people to listen to and support you, you can tackle the world," says Brown-Volkman.

Not only will you have the benefit of extra advice, but you will also "have people to share your successes with, and people who will reassure you during any momentary setbacks you may encounter," she says,

It's Only Temporary

Asking for help from time to time doesn't mean you'll need it all the time. Brown-Volkman reminds workers, "Seasons change, and careers go in cycles also. Sometimes we are soaring, and other times we are confused and disappointed."

She urges people who are faced with challenges to realize that "the 'down' cycle will end one day." Remember, too, that the folks who help you through a rough patch may well come to you for a similar favor one day. 

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