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Modesty Won’t Help Move Your Career Forward

Cindy Wahler argues that a humble attitude doesn't work in an office. While you may have projects to show you do great work, senior managers still may not who you are unless you promote yourself. 

Some people are brought up to not boast—it makes you sound pompous and self-serving. Modesty may work in personal relationships, but Cindy Wahler, a leadership consultant, argues in her article for Forbes that a humble attitude in the workplace can only hurt your career, preventing you from moving forward, and falling into obscurity.

She explains:

“Keeping your head down and doing great work is not enough. Despite projects that might cross all business platforms this may not be the only requirement it takes to get ahead.”

Wahler says part of what gets people ahead and in leadership roles is their ability to cultivate a wide array of relationships—being visible and recognizable. No one knows your role in the company better than yourself, so you can’t rely on someone else to advocate for you if you don’t speak up. While projects show great achievements, no one may know how important of a part you played. Talk to your co-workers about the progress you and your teammates have made in the break room, sharing excitement over an achievement or a recent milestone. Pique their interest, so they can pass along the word of your efforts.  

At meetings or forums, be present and speak up. Add value to the conversation by talking about the team, but be sure to take time to promote yourself. It may seem self-serving, but think about what part you play in your current project, and take credit for your contributions.

Wahler also says to expand your network to include diverse departments. If more people are talking about you, you’re sure to get the attention of a higher-up. Engage and pick out projects that allow you to work with different departments or other business partners. If you work well together, they’ll be more likely to drop you name the next time they ask to work on a project with your department.

“Your brand value is your currency. It is all about demonstrating your value to those who can play a pivotal role in accelerating your career.”

Read more at Forbes

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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