The Most Important Career Growth Tip

A few days ago I received an email from a colleague who serves with me on a nonprofit board.

“Does anyone know where I can get Mets/Yankees tickets?”

I knew (!), so I responded right away.

Later that day I was desperately trying to remember the name of a website I’d recently heard about where you can find out which social media sites have your username available. After racking my brain, I decided to tweet the question. Within three minutes I had the answer: Namech_k.

On another occasion recently, I was trying to make a decision about hiring a branding expert. After researching all over the web and feeling more confused and frustrated than ever, I decided to reach out to three business owners I trusted and ask for their opinions and referrals. Their advice was invaluable and I was able to finally make my decision.

Ask For Help When You Need It

All of these situations reminded me of the most important career growth tip you can learn: Ask for help when you need it. There are vast resources available to you. The only catch is that you have to reach out for help — no person or search engine or social network will know you need help until you request it.

If you’re having trouble figuring out your career passion, reach out to your university’s career center for an alumni appointment by phone or in person. (They are often free!)

If you’re unsure whether your resume accurately represents your skills, ask a few trusted friends or colleagues to review it.

If you’re scared to attend a networking event alone, ask a friend to join you.

If you can’t figure out how to ask for a raise, go out and buy a negotiation book or hire a career coach to role play the salary negotiation until you’re comfortable.

If you can’t decide what printer to buy, ask your Facebook friends for recommendations.

Websites, books, blogs, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn Answers, career centers, coaches, friends and family members all have a wealth of knowledge and advice to share with you. Next time you face any career question, large or small, ask for help sooner rather than later.

Bonus tip: The Second Most Important Career Growth Tip is to give back as much help as you receive.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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