I think anyone who is reading this can probably agree that asking for help is not always easy. I for sure have had this problem a lot and is something I recently discovered; I need to change. I am quite possessive of my work, I take a lot of pride in what I do, and I often feel like my job is my baby. After all, you have put so much effort into it; it would be mad not to feel this way no?
However, this makes it incredibly hard for me to ask for help and put my trust into somebody else to help. But lately, I’ve realized that the only one missing out on asking for help is me. And I can look back at so many situations where I wish people would’ve just asked me for help.
When I think about it, there is almost a certain arrogance in not asking for help. I had an excellent conversation with a fellow live sound engineer the other day. The topic was people who we had worked with over the years who showed up acting like they knew everything, experienced live sound engineers pretending to know a system when they did not. And rather than asking for help they spent a lot of valuable time trying to do it all by themselves. If you meet someone that has more experience than you or is hired to be there to help out, then my best advice is to allow for help. Save valuable time and learn in the best possible way: from somebody else! It is impossible to have infinite knowledge of everything. Especially in the world of both analogue and digital!
When you are asking for help, it might make you feel like you are less capable of doing your job. Like you do not know what you are doing. Stop that feeling right there! I do not believe this to be the case at all. It is better to be humble enough to admit that something is out of your knowledge than wasting loads of valuable time, break something or mess something up badly! It causes a lot of stress when you feel like you need to do everything on your own as well. In my case, I often think that it is because I need to prove my own worth.
However, I try to figure things out on my own. When anything goes wrong, I really try every single possible way of solving it. That is a good thing! That is one way of learning! However, sometimes things are perhaps out of your knowledge, and this is when you should definitely ask help.
The world of audio is massive and infinite. We have invented such fantastic sound systems and ways of transferring audio from point A to point B and it will keep evolving. It will be impossible to know all of it. However, if we all know a little and share what we know with each other than that is when can genuinely create some amazing sounding shows/ recordings. It is when we help each other out we learn and figure things out.
A quick summary of why we should definitely ask for help more often:
-Not asking for help causes extra stress
-If you do not ask for help, you might miss a learning opportunity
– Not asking for help will most definitely burn you out
– It saves you time
– People are happy to help!
Olive Olin is originally from Sweden; Olive has been based in London, UK since 2012. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Music Production and since graduating has worked as a live sound engineer all over the city. She has recently settled down as a full-time Production Manager at The Ned, a 5-star hotel in the heart of London. Olive manages to balance her hectic work schedule by finding time to produce electronic music, compose for film and work as a DJ. Olive blogs about the responsibilities of a young professional in the music industry.