Being Able to Ask for What You Want

Since few of us have ESP, it helps if you can be specific about what you need help with. My entire job search approach improved once I learned how to ask friends, contacts and previous employers to help me get meetings with individuals I didn't yet know (people they knew), so I could personally introduce myself and make new connections. Until I was urged to be more explicit when asking for help, I would have been too uncomfortable taking what I thought was such a forward approach.

A busy industry professional isn't going to seek you out to come spend 20 minutes with him in his office so he can give you his best advice. But if you ask for the meeting, there's a good chance you'll get it. Similarly, I don't know many people who would take the trouble to seek out someone who needs a mentor, but if you were to come right out and ask, he might very well say "yes." If you have a script or a client you want to sell, a project you want to present to an actor, a demo reel you want to submit, a director you want to meet—pick up that phone and ask. You can never assume that your request will be turned down and can never be intimidated by the fear of rejection. Sure you'll face rejection, we all do, but not always. You can't take it personally, and you can't let it stop you. It's worth taking the risk and asking for what you want, because eventually you'll get your "yes."

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