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Seeking help in the workplace

by Laura Smith | 26 July 2019

Asking for help in the workplace can be daunting, and it is something very few of us want to do. As people climb the career ladder, many think that asking for help at work shows a sign of weakness, and perhaps a lack of confidence in your position, however this could not be further than the truth. Asking your colleagues or manager for help can build relationships and even lead to career progression.
In this blog, Manager Laura Smith looks at the best way to recognise when you need help and offers her advice on how to seek help in the workplace.

I speak with candidates that are looking for their next legal job on a day-to-day basis and three reasons I am often given for why they are looking for a new role include having an unmanageable workload, being given work outside of their area of law or feeling like they cannot get to grips with a new IT system. Each of these scenarios can make somebody feel uncomfortable, and support is needed to ensure they are able to work.

How to recognise when you may need to ask for help

Many candidates I speak with choose not to raise concerns or ask for help from their line manager as they feel that it will come across that they are not able to cope with their role. This should not be the case and employees should be encouraged to seek help. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, it is a good idea to pinpoint the problem that you are experiencing. This will ensure you are in control of the situation, and that you are in the best possible position to articulate your issues to a manager or colleague.

If you have a lot of work on and are not able to meet the deadlines, this is a clear sign that you may need to ask for help. It could be that you just need to ask for a deadline extension or that you need some extra support in order to meet the deadline. The sooner you discuss this with your manager or colleagues, the better. This way you can manage expectations and ensure you deliver the work within a reasonable amount of time.

If you are new to a role, and need some additional help on understanding something, make sure you ask for help sooner rather than later. It’s completely understandable to not know everything when you first start with a new business, so ensure you have all the knowledge available in order for you to effectively complete your work.

How to ask for help effectively

If you are worried that by asking for help you will look as though you are unable to cope with your work, take time to think about how you word it to your manager, and also a plan for how they can help. If you can identify where and how help could be given, this will show your manager that although you need help, you are still in control and you have thought about the situation thoroughly first. Scheduling a meeting with your manager will ensure that you have enough time to discuss everything in detail, and will show that you have thought everything through.

Asking for help can assist in building relationships, improve health and wellbeing in the workplace, increase productivity and provide an opportunity to learn and expand skills. The benefits of accepting you need help and seeking this out within the workplace has so many potentially positive outcomes.

What next? 

If you would like more advice on dealing with a situation in work, please feel free to contact me by emailing laura.smith@sellickpartnership.co.uk, or if you are unhappy in work and would like to discuss what opportunities we currently have, please check out our latest legal jobs