An adult’s confidence to ask for help starts at 27

Brits finally feel comfortable asking for help after they turn 27, research has revealed.

A poll, of 2,000 adults, found those aged 25 to 34 are most likely to reach out to others when they need it, while those over 65 prefer to go it alone.

Of the 25 per cent who don’t like asking for help, 51 per cent prefer to be independent, and 48 per cent don’t want to be a bother - while 23 per cent are simply too proud.

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Relationships are the most uncomfortable subject to ask for help with (37 per cent), along with finances (33 per cent) and health (29 per cent).

But people are much happier reaching out for assistance with work, their career and education.

After reaching out for help at work, 57 per cent felt it helped them progress their careers.

It also emerged people feel it’s easier to ask for help when you are younger, rather than as an older person (28 per cent versus 21 per cent), as it’s more expected (69 per cent), and you’re open to learning (43 per cent).

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Susan Davies, head of business banking at Santander UK, who commissioned the research as part of its Women Business Leaders' Mentoring Programme launch, said: “In business and in life, asking for help and advice is essential.

“But it’s not always easy to do, and in fact can seem to be the most difficult thing in the world if you’re going through a hard time. It can be well worth it though, for as hard as it can be, asking for help means you can learn and grow - and hopefully avoid making a few mistakes along the way too.”

The study also found 81 per cent think it is sometimes easier said than done to ask for help, with one in six (16 per cent) finding it tricky to do at work.

Of these, 42 per cent fear others will think they can’t do the job, while 35 per cent worry what their boss or colleagues will think of them.

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However, 34 per cent have later regretted not asking for help in a workplace situation, with under 24s most likely to feel this way.

This resulted in half making a mistake at work while 13 per cent were left with an unhappy customer.

The research also polled 500 adults, who run a business, and found 77 per cent asked for help when starting out.

More than half of these (51 per cent) asked for practical help - with many seeking advice about getting started, networking, managing staff, payroll, legal support, tax, and technology.

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But 47 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, believe their business would have got off the ground even quicker had they asked for more help in the early days.

Sarah Willingham, entrepreneur and Dragons Den star, said: “It’s a no brainer! Asking for help is like pushing on an open door, there are so many people and organisations out there willing to help, guide and support business owners.

“I know how lonely it can be but having a mentor is one of the best ways to help you and your business, whatever stage your business is at. At each meeting, agree what you’re going to do and take action - no action means no change.”

Susan Davies, from Santander UK, added: “Asking for help is not a burden; it's an investment in your own growth.

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“That’s why we launched our programme, to match female business owners with experienced business professionals, giving them the opportunity to share insights, experiences, and advice over the course of nine months. A problem shared is a problem halved, and you’d be surprised how much people are willing to help if they’re only asked for it.”

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