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The five minutes you thought it would initially take has quickly turned into twenty and you’re still scouring the web and depths of Stack Overflow looking for a solution to the problem. You could have taken a quick second to get another set of eyes on your work and see if a colleague could help you get over the hump, but that's usually not the first thing that comes to mind for most of us.
When I first started diving into my professional career, being around developers that were further along or were, what I perceived as, more knowledgeable made me afraid to ask for help. It played into this notion that I was an imposter and didn’t belong – maybe I hadn’t picked the right career and should have continued studying architecture, because boy, was I in over my head. There was a feeling of not wanting to be a burden to someone else, that I would be stopping them from making progress on their work.
Sounding familiar yet? Don't worry, you're not alone.
Now although this was my experience in the beginning, as I believe it is for many of us as we first enter our fields – I learned over time that not only does it make my job less stressful (if at all), but there are various upsides to our willingness to ask for help when we need it.
First and foremost, I believe asking for help is an essential leadership skill. For some, their concern may simply be that they don’t like asking for help and it makes them appear weak. However, it’s the exact opposite. It shows great strength. It also shows your ability to acknowledge your limitations and that you are open to receiving things you don’t know. It shows humility and trust in those that you’re working alongside. There's no competition when you’re a team. Ego and pride aside, you’re not in it alone and a realization of that can only strengthen the dynamic and bond between you and your counterparts.
Lastly, asking for help when in need is simply good for business. Being conscious of the scope of the project will play a part in how you and team manage your time and stay within the project's budget. All in all, it’ll make for a better product in the end.
As a word of advice to those experiencing this, give yourself a chance. Things will absolutely come more naturally to you over time. Utilize those around you to grow, learn and reach the level of comfortability you feel you need to be confident in your craft.
The next time you need help, don’t take time to think about whether you should ask or what others may think of you – just do it.