Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saying yes

There have been many books and blogs written about saying yes to everything. I even think there was a movie about saying yes. It sounds fun and adventurous until you think about the reality of doing so. It would simply be overwhelming to say yes to everything. I am way too pragmatic to make the sweeping decision of yes, but have realized that saying no shuts a door. I decided to say yes more often than not. I know that doesn't sound exotic or exciting, but it has helped me with my career.  

Whether you are looking for a job or happy in your current role, overwhelmed or content in your workload, I have found saying yes can have positive repercussions. When a recruiter calls about an open position, I have always taken the call even if I am not interested. Why would I waste my time? I found it is not a waste of time to make connections. I will listen to hear about the role and happily refer someone who may be a great fit. When I had a recent period of unemployment, I found those relationships I had built with recruiters over the years invaluable.

How else could saying yes help your career? There was a period of time when I was leading a design team during the day and completing my MBA at night. At work, I was asked to take on additional responsibilities outside the scope of my job. The new duties seemed like a strange request given my role at the time. I was already overworked but decided to say yes. Because I performed well in these additional responsibilities, I was able to make a much desired career shift into merchandising. I didn't sleep much during that time, but the short-term pain lead to long-term gains.

Although saying yes to everything could lead nowhere, I recommend you think before you close the door by saying no. What have you said no to that you regret? Where is there an opportunity to say yes right now in your career? How can you identify what you should stay open to?

Learn more about the fashion industry from Career Coach Kate Kibler at

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