Ask for the support you need

Last week, a woman told me about her experience, and I wanted to share it with you.

Karen works full time in retail sales, and is burning out. Karen has been working for months to figure out what new career she really wants. She has been doing this work on her own, reporting her progress occasionally, and feeling frustrated and scared. She had settled on a career choice, and before she completed the research on it, she began to second guess herself, and started to panic. She wanted more assurance that she was choosing the right path for her.

Last week Karen called me with a new energy and enthusiasm. She had been talking with her husband, and he offered to be more involved in the process of choosing a new career. She was ecstatic. She described him as someone who is smart and objective and who knows her really well. She is excited to have him offer her, not just encouragement, but feedback and more active support.

Karen realized she hadn’t thought to ask for his help. Karen felt she should be able to do this on her own. Once she had his support, and saw its value, she began to seek support from others she trusted as well. She identified a close friend, and another family member, and asked for their help. She also hired a coach to work with her.

I like this story. The reason I like this story is that when I heard it, I realized that I too often forget to ask for support from trusted friends, family, and my own coach. I get caught in the trap of thinking, “It’s my life, I’m the one who needs to figure it out.” Karen’s story reminded me that engaging my support system will give me renewed energy and enthusiasm as I pursue my own dreams, for my career and my life. When I turn to the people who know me, whom I trust, I set myself up for bigger success, and I’m much happier on my own journey.

So as we embark on a new or refreshed journey in 2012, I encourage you to ask for the help and support of others. Make a list of those you trust, those who know you best, and ask them if they will help you in your pursuit of a job and career you love. Consider seeking a mentor or hiring a coach to help you. Ask them to provide their insights, their feedback, and their encouragement. While you’re at it, offer to reciprocate and support them in their dreams as well.

I’d love to hear your stories of support – please share them with me on my blog below.

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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL