Career Pivot – Learning to ask for help – ouch!

My last post was on Building Your Team. This leads naturally into the discussion of asking for help.

I admit it – I am a guy.  I do not like asking for help.  I do not like asking for directions.  There I said it.

Sometimes, we are thrust into situations where our choices are to quit or ask for help. Admit it, you have been there!

For most of us guys, this is a pretty miserable experience.  Like I said in my previous post, I was a very experienced professional.  I was successful in whatever I had done in my career.  I had never really failed miserably at anything.  I was at the point where I was nearly ready to quit.

I kept expecting some one to come to my aide.  Teachers are an interesting cultural demographic.  In my second month at school, I suddenly realized that all of these teachers were exactly like my wife.  My wife is a massage therapist and a RN.  Teachers have very similar personality types to nurses.  They are natural care givers.  They are:

  • Kind
  • Caring
  • Giving
  • Do not know how to say no
  • Do not know how to negotiate
  • Do not take care of themselves

It is all about the kids. I found teachers would not offer to help.  However, if you asked they were some of the most giving people on this planet.  You have to ask for help!

Once I asked for help from a variety of teachers, the magic folder would appear.  The folder would contain lessons, transparencies, worksheets and other teacher materials.  Usually, it would all be hand written materials which I would type up, convert to PDF and then make them available to everyone in the math department. This was my attempt to create an environment of giving and sharing.

What all of this means is when you make a Career Pivot you will need to ask for help.

Depending on the magnitude of the pivot you will you will have to suck it up and be humble.  You are no longer the expert.

I have a friend who is making a major change into green energy.  He is working as a apprentice electrician.  He is learning to be humble.

Are you prepared to be humble?

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist


  1. Yes, asking for help is critical for a successful job search. Building an accountability relationship with a fellow job seeker will help to keep you moving forward and honest. A good accountability partner will point out blind spots, identify tasks and help prioritize next steps in your search. Mark Sutton

    • Mark you are right. One of the things I have really learned in the last year is most of us do not see our selves as other people see us. We often have blind spots and at times they can be BIG!!

  2. Yours is terrifically worded” Pivot” and look at the embarrassments of starting over and wary of tripping up in so many new experiences.
    My worry is that every time I ask for help, it will trigger the response from everyone: “Well, you can certainly see why she was laid off.”

    The only good thing that comes of this condition is that we all want more than anything to be like your “nurturing family” after our feelings of haplessness. I am so pleased to see so many people sharing their secrets what this or that organization will want in an interview, or showing someone how to get into yet another website to apply for a job.

    Thank you. I hope you’ll send more of your blogs.

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