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Humility and Your Career Journey: The Perfect Combination

Humility and Your Career Journey: The Perfect Combination


running-successful-meetingsBy Kristen Carter
Contributor, Career Services

Today’s job market encourages you to broadcast all you have to offer in a loud and proud manner. After all, you are your greatest asset when it comes to selling your brand. While it’s important to have a handle on your strengths and be great at what you do, it’s also imperative to recognize that you do not know it all.

Humility is challenging at all levels and is sometimes viewed as a weakness in the corporate setting. However, humility does not imply you lack self-confidence or that you hide in the background, downplaying your achievements or deflecting praise for a job well done. There is a fine line between being boastful and confident. Communicating that you are a valuable asset comes in the form of knowing your strengths, while also not being afraid to admit your weaknesses and seek improvement when necessary.

It is not uncommon to experience a co-worker who constantly brags about his or herself. I find these personality types to be exhausting because in reality they scream insecurity and typically do not back up their talk with competence. They simply like to make noise.

The question then is: can humility be learned or is it simply innate? Personally, I don’t believe there is a black and white answer. For instance, I can strive to teach my children the significance of humility at a young age, but that doesn’t mean they will adopt this modest behavior. While there are likely those that humility comes naturally to, there are others who believe they are superior individuals, making it difficult for them to comprehend and demonstrate humility.

The learned versus innate debate may never be resolved; however, from my experience, I do know is that it is always easiest to listen to and follow a leader that is humble in his or her approach, yet remains confident in the skills they can offer their team.

Bringing awareness to negative attributes may be the first step for non-humble people to adjust their communication and behavior. If you are willing, try implementing these simple strategies to begin exhibiting humility in your career journey:

  • Recognize the team effort
  • Be willing to learn and admit mistakes
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Do not blame others
  • Be flexible