As companies continue to let full-time staff go, hire less and outsource more, what can you do to stay secure and relevant? Diane Mulcahy’s book, The Gig Economy explores ways you can take to plot a more secure career and life course.
One section discusses how to ask someone to help you move forward with your life or job. I include her example of a bad vs. good ask.
Not a good ask. “Are you free to grab coffee or lunch? I’d love to pick your brain.”
Why this is not a good ask: It is vague, generic, impersonal, and requests both an undefined amount of time and effort.
Chances this ask will be successful: Low
A better ask: “I just read the series of articles you published on networking. I’d love the chance to ask you about your perspective on inbound versus outbound connecting and interview you for an article I am writing on the topic. Are you available sometime in the next three weeks to schedule a 15-minute call to discuss.”
Why this is a good ask: It is thoughtful, clear, targeted, and specific, demonstrates research, respects the person’s time, and does not require any effort beyond the 15 minutes requested.
Chances this ask will be successful: High
In this world of social media blitzing, where practically everyone is so busy pushing out content and not actually listening, reading or engaging, it pays to target thoughtfully.