Ask for a Favor


Career Coaching for StudentsMost people often hesitate to ask for help because they worry about being intrusive or appearing needy. The truth is that it’s innately satisfying to help others, and most people want to help. Adults especially enjoy helping up-and-coming teenagers that are showing personal accountability and self direction. As you evaluate potential careers, ask adults for favors.

Ask for help in finding and meeting people in your area of career interest. Asking can be a powerful way to get people become invested in your success.

Most people don’t realize the size of their network. And for those that do, very few leverage their network effectively. How large is your network? To find the answer, write down in three columns all of your friends‘ names, your family‘s names and your “professional contacts” that you can think of in a 10 minute timed period (set a timer). For example, I am considered a professional contact, feel free to put me down on your list.

Work on this list until you feel you’ve exhausted your thinking. How many people did you list? Now consider this, what if every person you wrote down had an equal number of people in their network that you have in yours? Some will have more. But let’s use your list count. Take your list count and multiply by the same number. The answer is your true available network.  For example, if you have 45 people in your list multiply 45 x 45 = 2,025. You now have a significant network that will most likely help you contact the right people in your area of career interest.

Be bold enough to use your network. They want to help.

Carl Nielson is a professional career coach, creator of Career Coaching for Students™ and managing principal of The Nielson Group, a management consulting firm specializing in hiring and selection, team effectiveness and executive coaching.

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