Ladies, this post is just for you. Particularly because we, as women, struggle more with the following than dudes. I noodled on whether or not to post about this all weekend, but after my third sign, which is my usual indicator from the universe that I need to write about it–here it is (sign one being a recent incident in my own life, sign 2 an Oprah Instagram photo, sign 3 being this article I read in the NY Times).
Alright – let’s discuss sign one above.
There are not one, but two women in my network who were interested in a part-time gig that I recently was given the opportunity to be part of myself. I’m NOT the hiring manager or decision maker for the gig, but I did get an offer to be part of the posse–after applying for it just like everyone else, sending my paperwork in, and going through all the other steps in the process. The other two heard about it, then went about ‘applying’ for it (as the employer needs a stable of people for this particular gig) very differently.
The first, I had zero idea until later, was completely PO’d at me for her not getting the opportunity. Honestly, I was kind of blind sided by her irritation, since again I had no idea she was mad at me, nor did I have anything to do with the hiring of people for this gig. I don’t recall her asking for help to get in front of the hiring manager, either. (And shame on me, I suppose, for assuming that she would talk to the hiring people if she was interested in it.) But, despite her never directly asking me to help her, she instead decided to stew in her own juices for weeks about it, rather than just coming out and asking explicitly for me to help her. (I suppose I should turn in that psychic friends’ network membership I’ve been sitting on for decades, but I still haven’t.)
The second had a very different approach. She found out about the opportunity, then asked me about it. Then, she sent me her resume, and then she asked me to do a 3-way introduction to the person in charge of the opportunity. I was happy to do that. After that, the friend picked up the ball and ran with it – she explained why she was interested in the opportunity, discussed how she was qualified, and even cc’d me on the post-intro email.
I still don’t really know if the first person in this scenario officially applied. Instead, I heard all about how she is irritated by the entire situation (including, apparently, myself in her s-list). The second person got a response from the hiring manager, although I don’t know whether or not she’s moved forward.
Here’s THE BOTTOM LINE:
- I have no clue if Woman #1 is even in consideration at this point – she was too busy venting instead of trying to figure out how to fix the problem and get what she wanted.
- Woman #2 ASKED for what she wanted from me. I didn’t have to GUESS with woman 2. I DID NOT have to READ HER MIND. Although I don’t know the final outcome yet, I do have a clue that she is in consideration for the post, unlike woman #1.
Ladies – we have to ask for what we want. If we’re not clear, huffing, puffing, stewing and hating aren’t going to get you what you want instead. ASK. The worst the other person can do is say NO. But I’ll be honest – I am not psychic. Don’t assume I know–I can barely remember yesterday, let alone a conversation we had about you a year ago. If you don’t ask, you won’t get, period. And, there’s really only one person you can go to in order to figure out what you want–Y-O-U.
Now, whether or not you actually GET after ASKING is an entirely different blog post (or book, frankly), but at least when you ask, you are being explicit about what you want.
Even better – you JUST MIGHT GET IT!