Monday, July 18, 2011

Your Career and You: "Help!"

I'm staying on my "golden oldies" theme from last week thanks to an exchange of emails I had with a few former students over the past few days.

This week it's the Beatles...yep, the "Fab Four"...I was a fledgling engineering student when they exploded onto the U.S. music scene, and I dutifully went nuts along with the rest of my teenaged friends.

The Beatles' chart-busting "Help" debuted in 1965. I was unhappy with my major and was considering changing to something else...which now leads me back to my students/friends.

No one was asking for any life-altering advice, although they all know that I'm always available if needed.

One simply asked if I would pass along some information about an event that her firm has arranged for a client. The second was updating me on some recent changes in her personal life. And the third just needed a sounding board as she proceeds with a professional career-change opportunity.

The one who wanted my assistance in promoting her event got my promise to spread the news via my Facebook and LinkedIn connections. The one who updated me on her life changes got my assurance of a follow-up, in-person chat. And I spent about a half-hour with the third on the phone exploring the various positives and negatives of the opportunity she is exploring.

The take-away, in all three instances, is that the "system" worked. And that's the idea with friends and "help."

As the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." Sometimes you're facing a challenge, or a decision, or a life-altering event, and you know you have to do something, and you kind of know what to do.

I'm always advising/admonishing/counseling my undergrad communication students/advisees at Curry College as well as my graduate communications students at Regis College to not be hesitant about talking to friends/teachers/ colleagues when they're faced with a decision. Don't go it alone!

You just need to take that first step of voicing your need or your decision...of taking that first step. You get the momentum started...the thought processes rolling. Then you're off.

So do like the Beatles. Ask for "Help"!

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