Asking for help is hard for many people. I don’t know why that is, but I am sure it is just part of human nature.
I guess we have been brought up to “do it ourselves.” It is sort of a mark of our independence when we become real adults. I have been told that this is the reason that guys used to refuse to stop at the gas station to ask for directions. (Thank goodness I have GPS and no longer need to ask.)
The key is to know when your wheel spinning has reached the point that you would be best advised to ask for help.
The reason I bring this up is that there are so many different kinds of help available in our networking group if only those who need it would ask. Some of it is subtle; some of it is more direct. And, I can’t really tell you where the following ideas fall.
Let’s say you are trying to learn how to better use that new computer you bought when you started your job search. You can sit and struggle with it. It is a valid approach. In the alternate you can reach out to family members or friends to take a few hours out of their evening to come over and show you a few tricks. (Perhaps someone from your local chapter of The FENG would be willing to come over if you ask!) You are right in thinking that you need to primarily struggle with it if you are really going to learn it, but it is also true that having someone show you a few trap doors to fall through is a big help and will shorten your learning curve.
Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is another fertile area. I know I struggle with it (and frankly I haven’t fully decided), but reaching out to other professionals with backgrounds related to yours can surely help. (These folks are also members of The FENG and are perhaps also attending your local chapter meetings.) Even if you are committed to doing more of the same old thing, talking that through with others whose backgrounds or circumstances are close to yours will provide you with either a framework for thinking about the problem or perhaps will validate your own thinking. Either way you win!
Resume review is pretty obvious. I know when I was out of work in 1991 I read my resume so many times I really didn’t know what it said anymore. It really needed a fresh pair of eyes. So, I had a friend go over it, and bingo, several very obvious changes became apparent.
I am sure that with these few examples you all get the idea. What is important is to always be thinking about whether it is time to get some help.
It isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of intelligence.