How to Ask For Help When You’re Struggling on the Job


Adapting to a new job, or a host of new responsibilities, can understandably take time. However, if you have been trying to adjust for an extended period of time without – or with little – success, you might need help. Asking for help can be hard, especially if admitting the difficulties makes you feel like a failure in the role. While it might be a tough conversation, it will benefit both you and the company. Being honest about the situation is admirable, and getting assistance is a step in the right direction.

How to Ask for Help at Work

Break Free of Denial

As a proud professional, you might be hesitant to admit you are struggling, because you do not want to damage your reputation or put your job in jeopardy. While these fears are certainly understandable, do realize your boss probably already realizes you are having trouble. The best thing you can do is be honest and work with them to find a solution.

Meet With Your Boss

Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss the problems you are having with your job. List specific issues you have been experiencing and ask for advice to overcome them. Receiving critical feedback can be difficult — even when you ask for it — but avoid becoming defensive. The pointers are meant to help you, not hurt your feelings, so stay strong and take it all in. Learning from constructive criticism will help you grow into a stronger, more successful professional.

Put Feedback Into Action

Take the suggestions given by your boss and apply them to the tasks you have been straining to complete. Even if you are not sure if the pointers will work, give them a try as you want to show you are doing everything in your power to improve your situation. Allow yourself some time to adjust to the changes before determining whether or not they were effective. If things do not markedly improve, schedule another conversation. Are there any other adjustments that can be made to improve the process work?

If the situation doesn’t improve, remember that you have other options. You are a talented professional with a plethora of skills and a desire to excel. Find a new job that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, because you are able to make meaningful contributions each day.

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