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Insights: How to Ask for Guidance in a New Role

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Ask the Expert! Through WISE Insights, Connect with knowledgeable experts to receive honest and thoughtful answers to your career-related questions, or read about challenges your peers are facing.


Submitted by: WISE Los Angeles member | 0-6 years professional experience

I am fresh out of school and am lucky to have found a position with great growth opportunity. I am planning a new event for my company but have never created and run a committee. How I should approach non-acquaintances in the community and ask for their help?


Before you take action, think through exactly what you need for your committee to be a success. Some tasks will be obvious (finding a venue, recruiting talent, marketing the event, etc.) and some less so (logistical help on the day of the event, etc.) Once you know what you need, look for a few options within your community in each category that theoretically would be the best fit.

Then answer these five questions:

  1. What benefit(s) — tangible and intangible — will a participant in your committee gain? What’s in it for them?
  2. What role do you want the person to play, eg. what is the measure of success?
  3. What support will the person have to achieve the goal? Are they expected to recruit sub-committee members? Will they have administrative support?
  4. How will you keep committee members informed? Weekly (in-person or virtual?) meetings? Conference calls? Message board, etc.?
  5. How much time will be needed? This is especially important if these are volunteer positions.

Armed with your “hit list” you’re ready to take action. First, see if people within your personal network have a connection to these community members by searching LinkedIn. If so, ask for an introduction. If not, pick up the phone. It will probably be easier if you have your first few sentences of your conversation scripted — and you might want to script the whole conversation as a reference but don’t read your script — it’s just there to help you remember the points you want to make. After you identify yourself, make sure you’re speaking to the right people.

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Amanda Mitchell

About Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell, Corporate Navigator at Our Corporate Life, helps people just like you find what they love to do so they can have more of it in their work life. You'll be happier, your employer will be happier and ultimately corporate suffering will be reduced.

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