Asking for help at work is often one of the last things we want to do. We are always trying to prove to ourselves and our peers that we know what we’re doing. Unfortunately, not asking for help when we should can sometimes backfire and have us feeling worse than we would have if we asked for assistance in the beginning. For example, if you decide to step outside your comfort zone and take on a large project, you may feel obligated to know everything that it entails when you really you don’t. Instead of asking for help, you proceed, telling yourself you did everything right. Then, upon completion, you realized you left out something vital that could have been avoided had you simply asked for assistance. When something large like this goes wrong, in most cases, you’re not only letting yourself down but other stakeholders and team members as well. Not asking for help in the moment may not seem like a big deal, but as you may learn, it can have huge consequences down the road. Here are some other things that can be affected when you don’t ask for help
Your Reputation Gets Placed in Jeopardy
Asking for help will do very little to your reputation. If anything, it will probably leave it more positive as it shows your desire to learn and do things right the first time. However, tricking yourself into thinking you know what to do and having it come back to bite you in the end can have quite the negative impact on your reputation. Your co-workers may see you as less credible; and when that next big project comes around, it will probably be placed in someone else’s hands. Don’t take the chance of jeopardizing your reputation. Ask questions that need to be asked and move with the project. In the end, you will get recognition for a job well done, and those little questions you asked will be long forgotten.
You Give Off the Wrong Impression to Others
Asking questions is a way of openly communicating and including others. When you don’t ask questions, your co-workers will think you don’t need help, and some may even assume you don’t want to be bothered and would rather work alone. Be transparent and ask about anything you’re uncertain of. This may not only benefit you, but it may bring light to something someone else was uncertain of. Over-communicating never hurt anyone.
You Miss a Valuable Chance to Learn and Grow
When you’re constantly asking questions and learning, you’re growing at the same time. Not asking questions can mean you’re being complacent by not seeking out these learning opportunities. Also, by botching the entire project, you miss the chance of being appointed other important projects where you, more than likely, would have improved and gained valuable experience.
At the end of the day, although messing up a large project may seem like the end of the world, it’s not. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Take it as a learning experience, and keep pushing forward knowing that it’s always better to ask questions in the beginning.