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How to Give and Ask for Help and Why It Matters

by Thought Starters

COVID19 has been a punch in the guts for so many people who had plans, BIG plans for 2020. Just as Australians were starting to build momentum after a traumatic Christmas / New Year season due to the raging bushfires, the pandemic lands and we’re all in lockdown. Events are cancelled and, in many industry sectors, work came to a grinding holt.

It’s been an incredibly powerful reminder that we are not in control, a theme I have personally been exploring as I’ve waded through the aftermath that comes with finally saying goodbye to a loved one with dementia. In December my dear Mum passed away, which meant it was a quiet Christmas. We then watched, in horror, as events unfolded in seaside regional areas. When we received the first safety warning via text, as bushfires were fast approaching the Gippsland area, my husband literally turned our car around and we retreated from our holiday plans to spend quiet time with family in Metung.

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As the devastating impact of these fires was realised, it helped to look outwards and consider how to help those impacted. I contributed Think Bespoke’s Personalised Profile Audit Report to Biz for Bushfires Online Auction, developed by Kylie Lewis, Of Kin and Fiona Killackey, My Daily Business Coach, raising $30,570 for Fire Relief Fund for First National Communities, Bushfire Trauma/Mental Health Support and Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Welfare Fund.

Deciding how to respond when the shit hits the fan

I’ve heard many business owners since, talk about ‘that week in March’. The one where the phone did not stop ringing and, mostly, it was clients calling to cancel upcoming bookings and events. One colleague had all her work cancelled until June. Another could not stop vomiting at the thought of how she was going to keep her 40+ team in work.

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How to help myself cope

I was asked to share my perspective on how I chose to navigate the unravelling of 2020 plans in How I’m coping right now: “I asked myself what’s the worst thing that can happen? And I’ve planned for that”. I moved from feeling sorry for myself to ‘how can I help others’.

How to help professional communities

I made the decision to help professional communities who needed some assistance with LinkedIn and gave public access to my Complimentary Introductory LinkedIn Profile 5 Week Email Program, for introductory tips on how to improve your LinkedIn Profile.

Up until this point I had only ever offered this program to conference or workshop attendees when I was asked to guest speak or facilitate training. As a result of the rapid impact COVID19 was having on people all around me, I made the decision to provide it to professionals who wanted to get started with improving their LinkedIn presence. You can also register here for this free program.

How to help unemployed Australians

The news was beginning to report that around 1 million Australians had became unemployed in 72 hours, so I put plans in place to provide free access to my Job Application Toolkit for those who’d lost their job (or expected to) and asked my email community to share this with any colleagues/friends/family who’s employment was at risk.  If you, or someone in your community, has lost their job due to COVID19, please contact me to access this resource. It does require an email address to activate the complimentary offer.

How to help recruiters and consultants

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During this time I was also asked by the RCSA (the peak body for the recruitment community in ANZ), to provide a complimentary webinar for their members to help them cope with this crisis. The Learning & Development Manager and I brainstormed ideas and I prepared a brand new interactive webinar designed to give my clients and colleagues in the recruitment community across Australia and New Zealand some practical tips for how to engage meaningfully on LinkedIn during a time of crisis. It was based on a game plan my team and I had developed in response to the events around us. We’d moved from managing 4-6 week client content plans for LinkedIn, to reviewing our messages every week, as a result of events changing so rapidly.

Give and ask for help

Giving and asking for help has been a key factor in how I’ve navigated my working life since March. You can not navigate these events alone and if there are ways you can help others, it’s a great way to contribute, and it’s a great feeling too – try it!

As I reflect on what has gone well over the last quarter (a great exercise – try this too!), I am grateful for the following:

  • The opportunity to share my business and professional insights on the Flying Solo blog
  • Being invited to co-facilitate the LinkedIn workshop for the Monash Business School (my last in real life event in March)
  • Up-skilling thanks to special deals offered by Hubspot and Paul Jarvis
  • Investing in training and business planning forums with Brook McCarthy, Hustle & Heart
  • Walking more regularly with my neighbour, who also runs a business
  • Having the time to launch my new masterclass, Profile Essentials
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What are you grateful for?

As we head into the long weekend to celebrate our Monarch’s birthday, or if you’re reading this after June, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions as you re-set and prepare for the next few months.

  • What have the recent world events taught you about yourself?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What habits and rituals have you adopted during lockdown that you’d like to continue as restrictions ease?

And if you feel like it, please share some or all of your responses to this in the comments below.


Image by Matt Collamer https://unsplash.com/photos/8UG90AYPDW4

Karen Hollenbach

Karen Hollenbach

As the Founding Director of Think Bespoke I help individuals and organisations unlock their potential with LinkedIn. Sign up to my E-insights for LinkedIn tips.

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