Being Too Humble Can Hurt Your Career. Here’s Why.

Humility is dead, young millennial. Every time that you decide to be silent thinking the slightest bit of humility will award you brownie points in your karmic life, it awards the next person the opportunity to brag about your greatness as if it was their own bright idea. Don’t be foolish, you did that ish, now take the credit! No one deserves this more than you, for every door that was once shut in your face, this new profound you gives you the chance for once to be a locksmith. Be assertive, look the world in the eyes, and show it all you have to offer. “I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.”- Nadezhda Mandelstam

For every time that you bring something great to your organization, your boss has a field day taking the credit for it as if their mind could even phantom the intellect dissected from the deep parts of your consciousness. And for every single time that you mess up, your boss doesn’t even bat an eye at telling the world and every other galaxy that will listen that this mistake came from you and not them.

So, my question for you is, when is anyone actually speaking about the abundance of success you bring? They aren’t. And they won’t, as long as you remain silent about all that you do. It’s not about being a show-off; it’s about being modest.

Don’t be fooled into thinking humility and modesty are the same thing, either. Humility is not caring about your peers knowing that the new company rollout came from you. Modesty is saying yes, you came up with the new rollout, but tastefully. It’s the medium between being silent about your wins and being a boaster. No one likes someone who won’t shut up about all that they have to offer. But no one knows someone who is silent. You want to be known, but you also don’t want your successes to feel over-exaggerated or overrated.

Take the credit but do it gracefully.

If you never stand up and show the world what you can do, consider all the hard work that you’ve done as time wasted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen good people being left in the shadows of their bosses when they are the ones who actually did their bosses’ jobs. Sometimes I think we as people fall back on being humble, because we don’t realize how good we really are at what we do.

I am not saying you can never show humility. I just simply think it is too early on in your career to move in secrecy. You are young, smart, creative, and have ambition like no other. And you should be sharing all that you have to offer with the world. Wait until the latter years of your career to decide to be humble. When the world has already seen all that you are capable of and know what you can produce. However, right now, modesty is your best friend. “To be humble is to subdue our ego so that things are no longer all about us, whereas to be modest is to protect the ego of others so that they do not feel uncomfortable, threatened, or small, and attack us in turn.”-Neel Burton.

Now go on and show the world all that you’ve done and what you can do, but do it pleasingly! And remember, no one likes to have their shoes stepped on but people do need to know to move out the way when they see you coming. 

Written by Just Wynter

Just Wynter is an Writer, HR Professional, and Marketing Consultant from the DMV. She obtained her B.S. in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing in 2019. Just Wynter prides herself on being a dedicated and passionate young professional, who is committed to shedding light upon the injustices faced by minorities and the victories they achieve in society everyday.