Nothing will change until you make a move.
Growth happens when you decide to try something new, so brace yourself for the initial discomfort of transition because the end will feel like such a relief. Asking for help at work could mean the difference between a miserable job and a great one. Since I understand more than most how terrifying those first few conversations will feel for you, let me share four tips to help ease the agony of asking for assistance.
Growth happens when you decide to try something new.
1. Get advice first.
Don’t ask for help without carefully considering what you want–and don’t decide what you want without input from people who know you. Otherwise, you may get more help than you need. Take a few days to consider your current situation and envision a less stressful future for yourself. What looks different then versus now? What three, concrete steps might move you from here to there? Then, remember to run your ideas by someone wiser.
2. Embrace the awkward.
Greg Stier, one of my favorite speakers to visit my alma mater, often said, “Awkward is awesome.” He meant the discomfort of sharing your Christian faith with others, but the advice spans multiple spheres. When you ask for help, you may not like the response. One mentor might contradict another. Your manager might tell you to scratch all of your ideas and start over. Maybe no one will listen to you the first time. Go ahead and cry; then carry on. Don’t let a little discouragement stop you.
Awkward is awesome. – Greg Stier
3. Don’t stop asking.
One conversation probably will not realize the change you want. Wait a few days, and then ask again. Don’t be too annoying … but go ahead and be a little annoying. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. If you’re really serious about wanting positive change, then you will need to ask many times. People get distracted. They forget. Be respectful, but be persistent. You don’t need to stay stuck in a miserable work situation, but you do need to keep asking for help.
4. See it through.
Once the change (finally) starts to happen, be patient. At first, you’ll probably need to keep putting in the long hours while you train other people how to help you. In the meantime, try to appreciate changes by degree: fewer dreams about work, fewer stress-induced stomach aches, fewer frantic moments during the workday.
You’ll start to think, this better be worth it … but there’s no way to find out unless you stick with it. Then you can reevaluate. Hopefully, you will start to enjoy your job again. You will wake up without dreading the workday. You will also experience the satisfaction of beating your anxiety.
Appreciate changes by degree.
If the change really does happen, and you still hate your job, then you have two choices. Either you can move on, or you can start the process from the beginning and ask for more help. Whatever you do, don’t let fear stop you from getting what you want.
The Reluctant Bride