“How can I help?” – The hack to get ahead in your career

Written by Mathieu Yuill

January 08, 2021

We’re on the precipice of another lockdown in Ontario and other parts of the world. This will impact many people but parents with school aged children will especially face challenges in managing home and work. As a person who may be newer in your career, it presents an awesome opportunity to to ask “how can I help,” and impress those who can help impact your career progression in a positive way.

Several years ago, Nelson Mandela visited Toronto. I was a student at the time working for the school newspaper. I was able to get a press pass for the event so I got my trusty camera, a roll of film and headed down to the stadium where he was speaking.

When I arrived, I realized my press pass gave me access to one of the furthest points away from where he would be speaking. It bummed me out and as I was wallowing outside the press entrance, a TV truck pulled up and one man began unloading gear.

“Do you need help with your gear?” I asked. The person told me he’d love some help getting the gear down to field level and the next thing I knew I was right in front of the stage where Nelson Mandela would be speaking. After I helped with the gear, the television worker suggested I stay down there with him and the rest is history.

If you’re new in your career, you probably haven’t had the same traditional opportunities to get ahead that others have had. You aren’t able to chat at the water cooler or hang out during lunch. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not even have met some of your coworkers in real life. This is your opportunity to do three important things that helps advance your career:

  1. It’s the chance to learn
  2. It’s the chance to build relationship with your coworkers
  3. It’s the chance to look like an all-star to people who can help you

So give it a try. Call your boss and let them know you recognize others might have less bandwidth than you right now and you’d love to help. It will mean more work for you but it will be a great investment in your future.

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