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When it’s Time to Ask for Help

when it's time to ask for help montclair state mba student success

We’ve all encountered moments in our lives when we feel overwhelmed.  Sometimes this feeling is motivating; we know that we can get rid of the stress if we push harder for a bit longer.  But there are times when the mountain seems to grow as we slide further down the face of it.  

For many people, asking for help creates an internal struggle.  We live in a “Can-Do” culture where tenacity and gumption are highly praised and asking for help can make us feel like we’re not doing enough.

If you’re reluctant to reach out for assistance, determining the cause of that hesitation can help you formulate the best course of action. 

Have you been procrastinating?  Some people swear that procrastination fuels their creative process, but when the perfect storm of deadlines arrive all at once, this tactic can be overwhelming rather than motivating.  In this instance, it is important to honestly evaluate your situation. 

  • Is there still time for you to complete your work while delivering professional results?  If the answer is yes, make a plan and get moving!  
  • If you’re genuinely overwhelmed and you believe that the quality of your work will be compromised, it’s time to ask for help.   Share your concerns with anyone who will be impacted by deviating from the original plan or deadline. Don’t put this off!  Being proactive is professional and respectful.  

Do you feel like you “should” know the answer? If you’re spinning your wheels because you don’t understand a concept or because you have forgotten how a certain process works, don’t beat yourself up, ask for help.  Bonus: Approaching someone from the perspective of valuing their expertise creates an opportunity to strengthen your professional relationship.

Is it more than work? An unfortunate part of the human experience is loss.  Losing a family member, a friend, or a job can have devastating effects on our lives.  Stress and depression can impact basic functions like our ability to sleep, eat, and process information. When we are physically stressed we are more likely to become emotionally stressed and this is an important time to ask for help.

  • Your support system is a critical lifeline during times of crisis.  Reach out to friends and family and share your feelings with them.  
  • If you feel that your work is suffering, reach out to HR or to your direct supervisor to talk about ways to lighten the load as you’re moving through your grief.
  • Take advantage of mental health resources at work or school.  Montclair students have access to confidential programs through CAPS.  Sometimes it helps to hear the perspective of someone new. 

Asking for help gives you an opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation.  If you think about how good you feel when someone looks you in the eye and says, “Thank you!” hopefully you will be less reluctant to ask when it’s your turn. 

“Ask for help.  Not because you are weak.  But because you want to remain strong.”  -Les Brown


Mycenea Worley Student Success Coach

Contact Information

Mycenea Worley
Montclair State University
Student Success Coach


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