• Past & Present
          • Tlingit Dancer
          • Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) represents the Tlingit Alaska Natives from the Village of Saxman. CFC grows and maintains a strong financial foundation by profitably managing financial and land resources.

    • 8(a) Alaska Native Corporation
          • Blue mountains and water
          • Congress gave ANCs unique rights in the Federal procurement process, which are now codified under the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These rights provide Federal Agencies and Federal Contractors with strong incentives to contract with ANC firms.

    • Leadership
          • Tlingit Art
          • Uniting our diverse team of subsidiaries and employees requires leaders who are devoted to the corporate mission and the community. A strong team looks to strong leaders for guidance and support.

    • Construction Services
          • Construction Services
          • We exceed expectations with our expert services in design-build, renovation, security, and everything else in between to provide the best for your construction needs.

    • Event Management & Marketing
          • Event Management
          • From conception to execution to promotion, Cape Fox FCG is the place to go for your next successful conference, workshop, or industry event.

    • Facilities & Security
          • Facilities & Security
          • Our Facilities and Security teams ensure the functionality, comfort, safety, sustainability, and efficiency of any building environment.

    • Healthcare
          • Healthcare
          • We take care of you with expert level medical support, program coordination, clinical research, behavioral health, and more.

          • Occupational Health
    • IT & Cyber Security
          • IT & Cyber Security
          • We are ahead of the game with unique capabilities in leading-edge technologies and precision in solving information technology and cybersecurity challenges.

    • Professional Services
          • Professional Services
          • Our Professional Services teams specialize in Training, Human Resources, Healthcare Administration, and Administrative and Logistical Support Services.

    • Cape Fox Endeavor
          • Cape Fox Endeavor Logo
          • Cape Fox Endeavor’s primary mission is to provide efficient and reliable solutions that customers can rely on to solve all organizational challenges.

    • Cape Fox Facilities Services
          • Cape Fox Facilities Services
          • As a full-service professional service company, Cape Fox Facilities Services principally delivers scientific and research services; develops and manages human capital solutions; and provides traditional custodial, security, and maintenance services for Government and private sector clients.

          • HCaTS 8(a)
          • OASIS
    • Cape Fox Federal Integrators
          • Cape Fox Federal Integrators
          • Cape Fox Federal Integrators’ mission is to provide timely, innovative, and high-quality solutions to warfighters, Federal agencies, and commercial partners.

          • 8(a) STARS III
          • OASIS
    • Cape Fox Mission Systems
          • Cape Fox Mission Systems
          • As an industry leader, Cape Fox Mission Systems will deliver mission-critical solutions in nine key areas of technology, including Artificial Intelligence Technology, C5ISR, Cloud Solutions, Cyber Security, Engineering and Integration, IT Modernization, Mission Planning, Secure Supply Chain, and Software Development.

    • Cape Fox Mountain Point
          • Cape Fox Mountain Point
          • Cape Fox Mountain Point expands the capabilities offered for construction and facilities services. Cape Fox Mountain Point’s mission is to be the preeminent provider of construction and facilities services by consistently delivering high quality services at fair and competitive prices.

    • Concentric Methods
          • Concentric Methods
          • As a contract service provider, Concentric Methods focuses on offering value-driven smart solutions in the following markets: medical services, information technology, professional administrative, biosafety, and engineering services.

          • Joint Commission Info
    • Eagle Health
          • Eagle Health
          • Eagle Health is a professional service company delivering integrated medical services, document control and records management, biosafety and biosecurity program management, occupational medical and health services, and professional and administrative support services solutions.

          • Eagle’s Eye View
          • Health Webinar Calendar
    • Kwaan Tech
          • Kwaan Tech
          • Kwaan Tech will accomplish its mission by focusing on Digital Modernization with three primary elements as its core competencies – Information Technology, Cyber Security and Command, Control, and Communications (C3).

    • NAVAR
          • NAVAR
          • NAVAR was founded in January 2005 as an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) and is a subsidiary of Cape Fox Corporation. Prior to becoming a subsidiary of Cape Fox, NAVAR started out as a commercial company in Ketchikan, Alaska with a focus on the local tourism business.

    • Nooya Lake Technologies
          • Nooya Lake Technologies
          • Nooya Lake Technologies, LLC was founded in 2023 and will utilize its expertise to offer services to our government customers to address technology innovation, access, and utilization and bring digital equity and digital health equity solutions that matter.

    • Saxman One
          • Saxman One
          • Saxman One is a professional service company that principally delivers logistical support services, training solutions, conference and event management, and intelligence support to government and private sector clients.

    • Wolf Lake Services
          • Wolf Lake Services
          • Wolf Lakes Services’ primary mission is to help our customers realize significant performance and sustained improvements by creating unprecedented value, providing high standards of customer service, and achieving extraordinary results.

  • Cape Fox Cares
    • Working at Cape Fox FCG
          • Group of Professionals Working Together
          • At Cape Fox Federal Contracting Group (FCG), we offer you the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the mission objectives Cape Fox FCG supports. Committed to an uncompromising pursuit of excellence, we seek individuals of exceptional talent, integrity, and professional responsibility.

    • Search All Jobs
          • Search
          • Looking for a dynamic and team-oriented workplace? You've found it!

    • Featured Jobs
    • Diversity & Inclusion
          • Diverse group of employees
          • Cape Fox Federal Contracting Group (FCG) believes strongly in the core values of our Alaska Native Tlingit ancestors of family and community. By strengthening our communities, we are emboldening our company. Over the past decade, we have grown our efforts to be a more diverse and inclusive company by starting with defining our values and mission.

    • Meet Our Professionals
          • Smiling young Employee
          • We hire experts in their respective fields, ensure that budgets are created and adhered to achieve the most cost-effective results, have dedicated personnel who address safety requirements and industry standards, and employ security staff who establish protocols and meet government guidelines efficiently and promptly.

    • Professional Development
          • In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business world, continuous learning and skill development are more than just an asset; they are necessities. The 2024 Professional Development Series offers a structured, comprehensive approach to learning, ensuring that our employees are not just prepared for the challenges of today but are also equipped to embrace the opportunities of tomorrow.
    • Newsroom
          • The Cape Fox Federal Contracting Group (FCG) Newsroom provides updates on press releases, white papers, Eagle's Eye View blog, and employee awards.

    • Video Library
          • Videos
          • The FCG award-winning online video library provides insights, shows capabilities, and shares what it means to be Team Cape Fox.

    • Media Request
          • Media Requests Icon
          • Please fill out the contact form to request further information about Cape Fox FCG, or you may email the Corporate Communications Manager directly at [email protected].

  • Locations & Contact

Help! Those four little letters are sometimes hard to say, especially at work. We do not always want to feel vulnerable around our managers or coworkers. For many, asking for help at work can be daunting and unfamiliar. But what if you really need assistance on a project? Asking for help takes courage and practice. Once you get into the habit, your work productivity, as well as your emotional health, will improve. In this article, we will evaluate the obstacles to asking for help, how to ask, when to ask, and why asking for help is important. We give you a clearer picture of the art of asking for help.

The Obstacles to Asking

Often, people wait to ask for assistance until they are desperate. Why? Here are some of the reasons why we do ask.

1. We are too self-reliant. Being confident in your ability to get things done alone is motivating, but it is possible to be too self-sufficient to become a barrier when you need help. Often, we can be much more effective, efficient, and creative by reaching out and asking for input and resources from other people. 

2. We do not want to appear weak, ignorant, or incompetent. Asking for help can be viewed as a sign of weakness, but we need to question that perception. Research studies of people in the workplace suggest that if you make a thoughtful request, people will think you are more competent, not less. 

3. We do not feel psychologically safe. Psychological safety means a workplace is safe for speaking up, taking risks, and providing input. If we feel safe at work, we do not fear speaking up, admitting mistakes, and asking for help. It is a lot easier to ask if you are not afraid of being ridiculed or criticized for doing so. 

4. We assume no one can help us. Numerous research studies show that most people—even strangers—are willing to help. However, help does not happen if we do not ask for it when needed. No one can help if they do not know what you need.   

5. We do not want to appear selfish. As long as you are helping others and asking for what you need, you will not be considered selfish. If you struggle with asking, look for opportunities to help. And remember: Asking for what you need is a strength, not a weakness. 


How to Ask for Help

Here are some tips and tricks on how to ask for help at work:

  • Be clear and confident from the start;
  • Introduce yourself, if necessary;
  • Begin with the issue you require assistance with;
  • Make the next steps straightforward;
  • Set a deadline for the support you need; 
  • Suggest that although help is optional, it is very much appreciated;
  • Do not forget to show thankfulness.


One easy way to know how to ask for help is to make a SMART request and follow the SMART criteria:

  • Specific. Asking for something specific allows people to understand how they can best assist you. The more detailed your request, the more effective it will be. 
  • Meaningful. Include why you are making this request. Instead of just requesting help, include the reason why you need the help because it provides a background for individuals to understand what you are trying to achieve. 
  • Action. Ask for something to be done rather than restating your goal or the why of your request. For example, just saying, “I need some volunteers to review a report for me,” does not provide enough information about the actions required. 
  • Realistic. Try not to ask for more than what you need or more than the individual you are asking can offer. Be realistic with your request. 
  • Time. Mentioning a specific deadline is much better than a general one. If your request is urgent, say so. Urgency will motivate people to respond. 

When you plan on asking for help, there are six things to perform as you do it:

1. Create a list of things you tried and potential solutions

Your coworkers and supervisors may be more likely to help you if you have tried to resolve the issue and have some possible solutions you can try. Doing so shows that you have been attempting to manage the challenge independently and gives your colleagues a place to start when they offer suggestions.

2. Consider your timing

When you ask for help, ensure your coworker or manager has the time to help you. If it is an urgent request for help, going to them directly versus emailing them may be more timely. 

3. Carefully choose who you ask

When considering who to ask for help, you should choose someone with expertise with your problem. They might know how to find the answer to your question or be familiar with the tools you are using. 

4. Be specific in your request

Clarifying your request helps your colleague or supervisor know what you expect from the conversation and what you are trying to solve. This kind of specificity gives your coworkers context and a starting point for collaboration and lets them know how much time they have to answer. Here are some details you should include in your request: 

  • How soon do you need the answer
  • A short overview of the project
  • The specific problem you are having
  • A brief list of what you have tried
  • Any error codes you are getting
  • The kind of help you are asking for (like physical assistance, tools, or advice)


5. Use a collaborative approach

When you approach your colleagues and supervisors, show them that you are engaged in the problem-solving process. Your coworkers will likely appreciate the communication, and you are often more likely to remember the solution when you work it out together. This collaboration may also lead to developing new processes that can prevent a similar problem from happening later on. 

6. Be available to help

There will likely be a time when your coworker needs help solving a problem, too. When you help your colleagues, you are contributing to a work environment centered on teamwork. You also build goodwill with your team, which can help them be more inclined to help you in the future.


When to Ask for Help

Here are some situations when you should contact your coworkers or supervisor for assistance.

You are not sure how to proceed

Your colleagues or supervisors can help you if you are working on a complicated project and unsure what to do next. When you reach out to them, they might be able to:

  • Offer advice on how to approach the project
  • Clarify their expectations of you
  • Provide helpful tools and tricks
  • Guide your research by offering keywords and resources


You made a mistake

When you find you made an error you do not know how to fix, you should reach out to your supervisor or senior colleagues to help correct the problem. Mistakes can be meaningful learning experiences, and you build skills when you work with colleagues to resolve such issues.


You have overcommitted yourself

We all want to feel like we can take on anything handed to us, but there are times that we may feel overcommitted. If that happens, let your peers know that you are having difficulty meeting deadlines or have too many projects. If asking for help, they might be able to:

  • Give you extra resources
  • Help directly by taking over some or all of a project
  • Offer tools and advice on how to approach your workload
  • Adjust deadlines and priorities to accommodate you


You need additional expertise

Sometimes, you may simply need to get more detail on a project or more information on a process. You can reach out to your colleagues for their skills and insight. Doing so can help them feel appreciated for their expertise and create a growing team environment.


Why is Asking for Help Important

Asking for help can be a benefit to you for multiple reasons, including:

There is no I in Team

Asking for help can create a collaborative work environment and better team unity when colleagues can contribute and even feel they can help and participate in your work. By asking your colleagues, you recognize their input and expertise and reinforce that your team is working toward the same goals.


Learn new skills

Asking for help can provide you with new skills as you take your coworkers’ advice. You may learn how to use new tools or new ways of doing something to increase your own expertise. You can also learn how to troubleshoot as you and your colleagues work through the problem together.


Better manage your workload

You can more effectively manage your workload by asking for help. In doing so, you can work more effectively, concentrate more, and devote yourself to a task with less time worrying over being unable to complete it.


Building a Stronger Team

You can develop stronger relationships by utilizing your colleagues’ expertise while working toward a common goal. Many enjoy helping their peers; asking for help can build those relationships.


Don’t get lost – Ask for directions

Have you ever been on a road trip with someone who is lost but will not ask for directions? That is the same in the workplace. If you need help, ask. It can give you a better understanding of what is required on a project or what processes must be taken. You can reach your destination and expectations without getting further lost.

Cape Fox Human Resources strives to provide a safe and collaborative work environment. We hope this discussion helps you when you need to ask for help. If you have any questions or concerns about asking for help or any other HR topic, email [email protected]