By: Lara Yeku

For longer than I can remember, I have been getting a lot of messages from people reaching out to me for guidance on how to switch careers/jobs.

I recently coached a bright young lady who no longer enjoyed her role as an Admin. Officer and desired to switch to a career in HR.I was glad to share my story with her on how I actualized my career switch to  HR by strategically positioning myself within the organization till I was moved to HR.

Part of my advice to her was that if you want a change of role from Admin. to HR, all you have to do is ASK to be moved!

She was shocked when I told her to simply walk up to her MD and ASK!As usual, based on how our brain works (to keep us safe), she kept giving me all the reasons why she didn’t think it was a good idea for her to ask directly. Then I asked her what she had to lose by asking. She said, "nothing really", but that she was just afraid of rejection….Many times, we are afraid to ask for the things we desire regarding our careers/jobs. We are afraid to ask for that promotion, for that recommendation, for help, for insights, for guidance, we are afraid to ask to be mentored, e.t.c. We let the fear of rejection and the dread of the negative opinions of others consume us.

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Asking for assistance in your CAREER does not make you less of a person. Rather, 'asking' proves to people that you know what you want, and you are not afraid to go for it. Contrary to what we think, 'asking' makes us look bold and confident.

It gives you the opportunity to be heard. It gives you an opportunity to actually gain something.

At the beginning of my career journey, I also struggled with the fear of rejection. But I overcame it by consciously painting pictures in my mind of positive outcomes, rather than negative outcomes.

I tamed my fear with this thought: Too many things are lost for want of asking. In doing so, I learnt to detach myself emotionally from negative outcomes.

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Do not be emotionally attached to the outcome. If it is a NO, wear a smile, say thank you with all modesty and move to your next plan!

Remember, if Plan A does not work, there are 25 more letters after A, zoom to the next letter (Plan B).In the course of my career, there have been several occasions when I had to make a request from a senior person at work, and every single time my heart would beat fast like a Yoruba talking drum😄. But I never let the anxiety stop me from asking. In fact, there was always a sense of relief afterwards. And that is the point! We always feel a sense of huge relief after we ask for what we want.

What is that decision you need to make to take your career forward?

What do you need to ask for to propel your career to the next level?

Is it a promotion, a change in work schedule, a change in role, a change in career path, or a change in office branch?

No matter what it is, I implore you to ask today! Too many things are lost for want of asking! It's time to stop sabotaging your future!

Stop allowing the fear of rejection keep you from asking for that big thing that can change your life for the better🙏🏼. The worst response you will get is a NO and NO simply means Next Option(s)!

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About the Author 

Lara is a seasoned Human Resources senior executive with local and global best practices spanning across various industries. She is a certified coach with expertise cutting across HR Transformation, Talent & Career Management, HR Strategy, HR Metrics & Data Analytics, Organizational Development, Training, Performance Management, Talent Acquisition & Retention, Workforce planning, HR Coaching, Succession Planning, etc. 

You can reach her on LinkedIn here.

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