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Is Seeking Advice Bad?

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Just because we women have learned how to get ahead in the workforce doesn't mean that we can't ask for a helping hand.

motherhood is the new mba using your parenting skills to be a better boss

Shari Storm: On March 8, Time Magazine published an article entitled, "Big Girls Still Don't Cry: If Women Dominate the Workforce, Why Do They Still Need Gender-Specific Advice?" The author questions whether women still need advice books now that we make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce.

Keep in mind, my book, "Motherhood Is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills To Be a Better Boss," was listed as one of the self-help books the publishing industry "pumps out" every year for female professionals. So what I'm about to say is probably biased.

Why on earth wouldn't we need advice books? Isn't that one of the things that gives women the competitive advantage -- our willingness to seek advice?

As Roxanne Rivera, author of "There's No Crying in Business: How Women Can Succeed in Male-Dominated Industries" (Palgrave Macmillan) says, women are not afraid to seek out advice. "Maybe it's because women are so used to turning to one another for support," Rivera says. "Or maybe it's because they simply know that they will need the advice of others to get ahead in a 'man's' world. But by and large, women are not reluctant to seek out advice. Women are collaborative. They are more willing to take a let's-get-through-this-together mentality than men might be. They don't look at needing help as a sign of weakness, as many men might. They look at it as an opportunity to improve."

It reminds me of old joke: Do you know why Moses roamed the desert for 40 years? Because even back then, men wouldn't stop and ask for directions.

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I often read books that tell me how to be a better manager, wife, mother, friend and person. I like advice columns, too. I love "Dear Abby" and "Ask Amy" and any other Q&A articles I find. I keep up on blogs that tell me how to lose weight, manage my time and save money.

Seeking advice does not make me less professional. It helps me learn, grow and feel better about myself. That's a good thing.


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