Three Reasons Why You Should Lead With “Yes” at Work

By Sydney Melin

I write this from the perspective of a 25-year-old woman whose manager told her that becoming a contributor for NYWICI would be a great opportunity. I said yes, and now I’m here to tell you why leading with “yes” early in your career should become your new mantra.

Discover More Opportunities

Ever have a project thrown on your plate that you couldn’t manage? Do you have a go-to person you can contact for help? Now imagine if you were that go-to for someone else! The moment you show others that you are an accessible resource for help, you become the first person they think of to go to in all situations. Now that sounds daunting, and by no means should you overbook yourself, but by positioning yourself as a resource, you broaden the rooms you have access to, and opportunities will continue to fall in your lap. Without even trying, your role will start to expand at work, leading you to new responsibilities beyond your title and into conversations that you could only dream of having a voice in.

Earlier in my career, I was asked to present at a sales meeting on behalf of my team. Automatically, it put me in the sightline of my peers and senior leaders within my company. I was able to position myself as a doer and have since then presented in countless meetings across the organization. As I continued to say yes with each speaking opportunity presented, not only did my confidence increase, but more doors and opportunities to showcase my skills and contributions opened up.

Build Your Network and Reputation

You’re only as strong as your network. We all know this. So why haven’t you reached out to that coworker you want to get to know better? Because it’s scary. However, saying yes to that afternoon coffee, to that happy hour and to that networking event, will automatically expand your network and build your reputation. You will become that employee that has connections throughout the company or, better yet, throughout the industry. Bonus—once people start seeing you as a friendly face always willing to lend a hand, in return people are going to naturally want to help you in your time of need. We could all use more people to rely on.

No Path Untaken

Saying yes to things you haven’t done before can be intimidating. But, leading with “yes” will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and discover what works for you and what doesn’t. By saying yes to an activity or project with a new coworker, you just might discover a new hobby or avenue of business you didn’t know existed. Pushing yourself in new directions will not only allow you to grow professionally but personally as well.

To summarize, saying “yes” might not be right for every situation, but once you start challenging yourself to say it more, you could be one step closer to your next promotion or even your dream job. With that, I thank those who push me and continue to challenge me to step outside my comfort zone to find new opportunities. Now, I challenge you to embrace the power of “yes.”

Sydney Mellin
Sydney Melin
Marketing Manager, ForbesLive at Forbes

As a Senior Manager on the Audience & Community Marketing, ForbesLive team at Forbes, Sydney Melin develops strategy and delivers the audience for over 50+ events a year. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, she credits her hard work ethic and view of the corporate world to her mother. Follow her on LinkedIn here.


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