Putting yourself out there and the vulnerability hangover

Updated: Oct 10

Putting yourself out there is hard. So is asking for help. We are conditioned not to do these things and just to 'carry on regardless' but sometimes, that is absolutely the wrong thing to do.

If we are struggling why wouldn't we ask for help? Well we can think it makes us seem weak and incapable, like we are 'letting the mask slip' and that others will look down on us for it.

Firstly, who are these others and why do we care about their opinions?

Secondly, asking for help is smart. It shows that we know we can't do it all ourselves and are willing to let someone else with different knowledge, skills and experience in. I'm not a painter, a baker or great at getting the weeds up so I'm happy to defer to others in these areas and I'm sure you are too. So why is it so difficult to ask for help when it comes to finding a new role?

Well I think partly because we think that we 'should' be able to this ourselves. We 'should' know how to do this but who says so? Surely it's better to ask for help than spend months looking for work and getting frustrated?

Lots of my clients tell me that they haven't written a CV for 10 years but are embarrassed about their first drafts. We wouldn't expect ourselves to be good at anything else we haven't done for 10 years so why is this different?

I always advise clients to go out to their former colleagues and network first when they need a new role but this makes them feel on edge as they don't want people to know that they are out of work and feel that there is shame attached to this. I ask them to get past this as this can be the best way to get a new role. Who better to recommend you than people who know how you work?

Also there's the whole thing about putting yourself out there and the 'vulnerability hangover' that Brene Brown speaks about so beautifully. She means the slight sense of dread and 'ick' that we get when we do something brave. When we are courageous and step up and out of line, we can end up feeling vulnerable. This can lead us to have a vulnerability hangover the next day. Maybe you've put up a post that no one's liked or commented on. Maybe you've changed your headline and someone has commented in a slightly negative way. Either way it can leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable BUT it's okay. It's only by doing something different that you will push and stretch yourself and leave that comfort zone behind to find that new role that you are looking for.

If no one knows you exist, how can they recommend you for a role? If your old colleagues don't know that you are doing something different now, how can they keep an eye out for these sorts of jobs for you?

I'd love you to go today and ask a friend or colleague for help looking for the roles you are interested in now, ask someone in an industry that you are interested in for half an hour to chat about it or put up a 'flare' post on LinkedIn telling your connections what you are looking for, where in the world you are and how you'd help a new employer and asking for suggestions/shares/likes. You will feel vulnerable but you never know where it will lead.

Realised that you need to ask for help? Drop me an email at

Power Hours start at £175.

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