#AskJUGS: 4 Ways to Ask for Help From Your Network (Without Feeling Like You're Bugging People)


Most of you who are looking for a new job are probably trying to figure everything out on your own. I can’t over-emphasize this enough: successful job searches are social activities. They necessitate interaction, learning, and connection.

That said, I know most people would rather crawl under rock than ask for help!

This month, I’m sharing some tips to making asking for help from your network a little bit easier.

Own It

Let’s make this as simple as possible and give ourselves permission to ask for help. Asking for information, introductions and insight from peers and colleagues is a part of professional life.

If you need more of a pep talk before reaching out and asking for help, check out this video, Easy Networking Tips.

Keep it concise

It can feel necessary to include a ton of background information as context for your request, but if you’re using LinkedIn, they can view the details of your background with just a click.

Instead, consider letting them know what about their experience is compelling for you, state what you’d like to learn from them, make a clear and reasonable request (i.e. a cup of coffee or a 15 minute phone call), and thank them for their time and consideration.

If you’re really stuck on drafting the right outreach email, you can grab a copy of my networking email outreach templates over in the brand new Work Wonders Career Resource Library. Simply customize them with your details, proof and hit send!


Demonstrate an appreciation for their their time

Ask if they prefer a phone call or an in person meet up. Offer to meet at a location that’s convenient for them. In other words, try to make it as easy as possible for them to say, “YES!”

Don’t assume you have nothing to offer

Honestly, this is one of the biggest mistakes that I see people make! YOU have knowledge and expertise to share, even if you don’t feel like it!

If you have the chance to connect with someone who has helped you, you’re welcome to ask if there is anything that you can do in return. And of course, you’ll certainly thoughtfully to any requests that may come your way, when people are curious about your experience.

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear back from everyone. You probably won’t! If connecting with other people and asking for information and support is consistently part of your routine, the few who don’t engage won’t matter that much!

This month’s post comes from a question that was submitted through #AskJUGS! Do you have a career question you’d like answered right here in our monthly column? Share it with us and you might just see it answered here next month.

Jenn Walker Wall writes a monthly career advice column called #AskJUGs for JustUsGalsBos.com and is the founder of Work Wonders Coaching + Consulting. You can follow her on Twitter: @JennWalkerWall