Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Humility Trap

Ever get that feeling that something just isn't right?

A pebble in your shoe? A meal that didn't sit right on your tummy? No matter how many ways you look at it something just isn't right!!

I was working with a client who was preparing for a final  job  interview

But something wasn't right. So I asked

I don't feel comfortable John. A lot of this sounds like I'm bragging.

Is it all factual?


You gave credit where credit was due?


No plagiarism, theft or exaggeration?  


I sat back and looked at her and grinned.

You've fallen prey to the Humility Trap. When you look at yourself a little voice says one of two things: "No one is that good! or "Just who do you think you are?" 

She laughed, out loud.I mean the real kind,from the old days.

We chose a path to follow, work hard and set some goals. We make sacrifices, at times, because we saw very clearly where, how fulfilling and satisfying life would be. It was worth it!

Then in one fell swoop, we sit before a group of somebodies who could help us reach that goal and we downplay and minimize everything we've worked on for so long and so hard.

That could be an alternate definition of insanity. 

Humility has it's place, but never in our career search or development. That myth was spun by people who didn't put in all the hard work, make the sacrifices and set the goals we did. So someone, somewhere turned a plus into a minus.

I asked my client three critical questions:

Is it factual - No exaggerations?
Did you acknowledge other people who participated and assisted you? 
Was what you accomplished authentic? 

When you answer yes to each of those questions you are acknowledging your worth and value. 

You worked hard. you should be proud and the right employer will see your value as a determined and confident candidate. 

My grandma said it best: "If it's the truth, it's not bragging"