When I’m talking to my clients and our conversation inevitably turns to networking, I often hear from people that they don’t want to appear needy, that they don’t want to enter relationships with their hands out ready to receive.
It’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward, it’s usually not well received.
At the same time, people want to support you, and if you give them the opportunity to do so, particularly when it’s a discrete task (coffee next Monday at 2 pm), it’s easy for them to show up for you. And, in a paradoxical twist, by specifying exactly what you need in way that’s inviting and easy for them without the overtone of entitlement or desperation, you actually help them.
Have you ever heard of “elevation”? It’s a term used to describe the high that we feel after we contribute meaningfully to someone else. We are literally hardwired to respond to others’ struggles.
Think about the last time you helped someone, really made a difference to them. It could have been as simple as opening the door for the person behind you who was carrying a heavy package. How did you feel right after you made that gesture? Pretty good, huh?
That’s how others feel when you allow them into your world, when you share authentically with them.
Let people help you.
You’ve done it for many other people, and you’ll do it again. Perhaps you’ll do it in a matter of moments, in fact, because you’re not helpless or inept. You are capable and whole and you help out (even when you’re in a job search). By receiving for just a moment, in a way that replenishes you and fuels you for the next steps in your job search, you aren’t rendered weak or without resources. You are simply accessing what’s right in front of you and connecting in ways that we all want to be connected.