Are you struggling with asking for help?
Are you asking yet discouraged by the lack of results?

You may be doing what you think you need to… meeting people, building your network, asking them for help, yet you come away discouraged.  Yet…are you asking the right way?
Imagine that you are the one being asked for help
If you received a call from someone you know that is in career transition and they said something like:
  • “Hi Mary, I’m looking for a new job, please let me know if you hear anything” 
What would you think?  How easy would it be for you to help this friend?

What if – instead, your friend said something like:

  • “Hi Mary, I’m seeking a new career/role that allows me to lead an organization through change and transition.  I’m especially interested in the technology industry and am looking to talk with people in this industry to gain insight and advice as I make my transition.  Who do you know in this industry that you could introduce me to?”   
How easy would it be to be helpful now?

The more specific you are, the easier you are making it for your network to help you.  This works well when it is someone you already know well, that knows you well – a friend, family, former colleague.  Someone you can get right to the point with.

What if you are asking for help from someone you don’t know well or at all?
Now your “ask” will sound different.  Your goal here is first to establish a relationship with this person, so they will remember you, think of you when an opportunity does come to their attention, and be more willing to help.

How do you do that?  Focus on them first!  Now imagine you are the recipient of an email like this:

  • “Hi Mary, Joe Smith recommended I reach out to you (or, I found you on LinkedIn) as you are working in the field I am very interested in exploring as I branch out in my career.  Would you be willing to talk with me briefly about your career path and offer me advice as I move toward this new path?”
What if you don’t know exactly what it is you want? 
That’s OK!  There are many areas you can be specific about – choose one or more:
  • Your job title – if you know what role you want, let them know
  • Your industry of choice – it can be more than one
  • Your field of interest or passion – broader than job title
  • The types of companies (or specific companies) you would like to work for
  • The type of people you want to meet – based on their role/field
  • The strengths you want to use – if you choose this one, also tie it to role or industry or give examples if several
Remember; make it easy for someone to help!
  • Establish a relationship first
  • Get to know them, their career/role/industry
  • Ask advice and information
  • Be as clear as you can about the direction you are making your career transition
  • Ask for something specific when you can

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