How To Stop Selling Yourself Short In Your Career

by | Career Growth, Finding A Job, Interviewing

While humility can be a gift, it can also get in the way when it goes too far. When you’re looking for a new job, vying for a promotion, or advocating for a salary increase, selling yourself short can sabotage your success.

It takes time and practice to learn the art of speaking about yourself with confidence, but once mastered, it can catapult your career growth.

5 Steps To Stop Selling Yourself Short In Your Career

If you tend to sell yourself short in your career, here’s what you can do to start owning your fabulousness:

1. Get clear on your strengths.

When you find that you’re selling yourself short, a great first step to take is to remind yourself of your strengths. And, if you’re not quite sure what your strengths are, you can track down a recent performance evaluation (or two) and see what feedback you have received.

Kyle Elliott Strengths Finder Report

If you’re a fan of data, you can also give one of the following assessments –  which have all been rigorously tested and are backed by research – a try to gain a deeper understanding of yourself:

  • CliftonStrengths Assessment: Understand your strengths across 34 areas, your top 5 Strengths, how they interact with one another, and areas for further development and growth.
  • Strong Interest Inventory®: Gain a clearer understanding of your work personality, interest areas, 10 most aligned careers, and approach to work (preferred work style, learning environment, leadership style, risk taking preference, and team orientation).
  • MBTI® Inventory: Uncover your personality type and preferences, which influence how you act and react, make life choices, relate to others, and make sense of the world.

2. Ask for feedback from those you trust.

While on the topic of strengths and preferences, when used appropriately, feedback can also be a powerful tool to gain a deeper understanding of who you are and what sets you apart from other people.

One of my favorite feedback tools is the “Mini 360.” This is a simple and free yet incredibly profound way to collect feedback from those around you and gain a deeper understanding of how they observe you and your abilities.


All you need to do is ask 3+ people you trust: “What makes me fabulous?” (If the word “fabulous” doesn’t resonate with you, you can replace it with “special,” “different,” “unique,” or something similar.)


Then, see what themes arise in their responses, and you now have an idea of your Unique Value Proposition, which you want to begin speaking to.

3. Pinpoint your relevant accomplishments.

Now that you have a clear sense of your strengths and fabulousnesses, you’ll want to start to identify accomplishments and career wins that back up your success. For each of the strengths you identified in the previous steps, try to identify at least one accomplishment that corresponds with it.

If identifying your accomplishments is challenging, don’t feel the need to recreate the wheel. You can build from the content that’s already in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, as well as any interview prep you’ve completed.

The key here is to get into the practice of really owning your big wins, rather than selling yourself short.

4. Begin speaking your new truth aloud.

Once you have a list of accomplishments that you’re proud of, you’ll want to begin regularly speaking to them aloud and seeing how being your authentic self sits on your tongue.

I want to encourage you to avoid the temptation of fixating on the precise words without also spending adequate time saying them aloud. Don’t be afraid to stumble over your words as you get used to talking about yourself in a new life.

5. Develop a positive self-talk habit.

Consider developing a daily habit of talking about yourself in this new light. This might be as simple as rehearsing your stories aloud each time you take a shower or wash the dishes.

And once you feel comfortable, find someone you trust to share your strengths, fabulousness, and stories. This should be someone you know who will not only lift you up but also appropriately push you. In other words, provide them with permission to challenge you to really own and share your fabulousness, so you can truly move forward with confidence.

Finally, keep in mind that learning how to speak about yourself with resounding confidence and the utmost conviction won’t feel natural overnight. This process is iterative and takes practice and time, so be patient with yourself if it doesn’t feel natural at first. You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).



Currently Booking New Coaching Clients For May 2024 & Forward — Schedule A Consultation Now Job Search Launch Guide

Unlock Your FREE Job Search Launch Guide

Looking for a new role? Access my FREE Job Search Launch Guide and learn where to focus your time, energy, and effort so you can find a job you love.

Because the job search can quickly become overwhelming, I've broken this down into an easy-to-follow, 5-step process to help you get started. You've got this!

Thank you for registering! Check your email inbox for your guide from