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How to Ask for Help at Work

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 5 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
How To Ask For Help At Work

Even if you are finding work increasingly hard to cope with it can be difficult to ask for help. Many people are worried about looking like they aren’t capable of doing their job properly or that they may lose out by speaking up. However, it is much better to speak up and get help than slowly get worn down until you are unable to cope any more.

Speak Up

As with any problem, the first step to beating it is to ask for help. There are all sorts of reason why people are afraid to speak up. You may be afraid that you will look weak, that your boss will be disappointed or that you will lose your job. All of these are valid concerns but so is the detrimental effect that it is having on your physical and mental health.

Know What you Want

Before you take that first step of asking for help, you need to know what it is that you want. Talking to your manager vaguely about needing help won’t have the same outcome as going in with a clear idea of what can be done to help. Give them clear examples of the areas that you are struggling with and practical ideas about how you could be helped. By doing this, your boss will be able to see that you are serious about fixing the problem.

Be Realistic

The first step to getting help is to ask for it but unfortunately there is no magic wand to wave and make everything better straight away. You need to be realistic about what you are going to achieve and how soon. It may take time for the help to kick in. You must also be aware that people in the company may view you differently now and it may take time to re-establish yourself. However, it will all be worth it.

Help Yourself

If you have been finding work difficult to cope with then it has probably been making you feel quite down and stressed. Asking for help is the best way to combat this but you also need to help yourself by making sure you are fit and well to do the job. Eat well, make sure you get enough rest and try and incorporate exercise into your day to keep you healthy. Also, once you have been given the help, make sure you work with your boss and colleagues to implement the plan effectively.

Asking for help is never easy, whatever area of your life it is in. It can be even more difficult at work as you don’t want to look like you can’t cope. However, you need to look after yourself and your stress levels so you need to ask for help when you need it. Talk to your boss and have clear examples of what you need help with and practical steps that would make it easier. Once you have done this, work with them to implement the plan but be realistic about how soon and how big the changes will be.

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