… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

You are never too much of anything

From time to time on this blog (read: ALL the time) I try to offer up some advice for all those newly graduated minions out there. With the job market still so tough and with how hard it is to break into the HR field, I am more than happy to try in my own small way to help prepare those new HR pros out there for some of the challenges they will face.

But where to start? There are TONS of content both here on this blog, and on thousands of other blogs and career advice books that address this subject. There is no end of topics I could cover. But if I had to pick one piece of advice, just one thing that I feel makes the difference between success and failure, it would have to be this:

You are never too smart/good/attractive/young/old/educated/clever/rich/important/critical for ANYTHING.


You are never too important… to be nice to the receptionist.

You are never too critical to a company… that you don’t need to follow the rules.

You are never too smart… for repetitive tasks.

You are never too good… for entry level jobs.

You are never too anything at all.

The second you find yourself thinking that you are too much of anything is the minute that you stop acting like a professional people want to work with and you start acting like an entitled pain in the butt no one wants to be around.

I’ve seen a lot of amazing recent graduates in their first job throw all their wonderful potential away because of their false sense of entitlement. They were too focused on what they felt their employer OWED them and not on what value they could provide to their employer. They would balk at hard work, or turn their nose up at an entry level job, or get so focused on the future job they wanted that they forgot to do the job they had.

It’s both a waste and a shame. Some of them, maybe after some hard times, will finally figure out what they are doing wrong, but sadly, not all of them will. So please, save yourself a lot of struggle and take this advice to heart.

Be humble.

Be kind.

Be grateful.

And push yourself to do the best job you can, no matter what job you have.

The more open you are to the world around you, the more open the world will be to you.

9 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Another Evil HR Director :

    This is wonderful advice for anyone – not just new grads! This sense of entitlement, feeling some task is “below” one, holds many people back from the success they otherwise would achieve.

  • 2 Ashley :

    How do you differentiate between the sense of entitlement and lack of recognition?

  • 3 Shauna :

    Another Evil HR Director – Thanks! it’s always sad to see people torpedo their own careers.

    Ashley – That is a good question, there certainly is a problem with a lack of recognition out there. But I would say the difference really comes down to the individuals attitude. Simply showing up does not deserve recognition, that is part of doing their job. Going above and beyond for co-workers and clients, providing real value to a company, and jumping in no matter what the task requires are all things that do deserve recognition. If the words “that’s not my job” come out of their mouths though, that’s entitlement and the best way to hurt their career.

  • 4 Getting into HR? This Carnival's For You - upstartHR :

    […] the incorrigible HR Minion tells us you can never be too much of anything. Absolutely love this and couldn’t agree […]

  • 5 Ashley :

    Thank you for your response, Shauna.

    I am reaching that point with my current position. I feel I have been asked to do things out of my job description to show how devoted I am to this job, and they are now expecting me to do them, without asking if I can or whether or not I can afford to these tasks, financially. I have not been with the company long (less than 1 year), and I have never received a “thank you” for going above and beyond my scope of duties. By adding all of these extra tasks, it is making me lose focus on what I was originally hired to do here. How do I reel it back to my original job description without sounding entitled?

  • 6 Shauna :

    Ashley – That does sound like a mess and I’m quite concerned about the bit where you mention financially, but without knowing more about your situation all i can offer is this: Every job will change in scope over time, especially if you show you are a hard worker and competent. However, if the job is going in a direction you are not comfortable with or don’t want to do, and especially if you feel you are not getting any recognition for your hard work, you have two options. One, if you feel comfortable and have a good rapport with your boss I would suggest having an honest conversation with them. Let them know that you are happy to help out in any way the company needs but that you are concerned about the direction your job is going as the work assigned is moving away from what you really enjoy and want to be doing. Ask them what expectations they have for you in this role. Mention that you would appreciate more feedback on your performance to be sure that you are meeting those expectations. At all times keep your tone professional, sincere, and make it clear that you aren’t upset, you just would like clarification and feedback. However, if you do not feel comfortable having that conversation with your boss or you have the conversation and your boss either doesn’t give you the feedback and clarification you need or they do and you don’t like the direction your job is going, well, unfortunately you may need to start looking for another job.

    That was a lot of information but I hoped it helped! Feel free to email me, hrminion@gmail.com, if you have any further concerns.

  • 7 Ashley :

    It really did help! Thank you very much.

    The roles and duties here are not defined at all. It’s a mish mash of whoever can do it, go do it. The financial aspect is what is killing me. I am trying to steer away from that sense of entitlement, but yes, I do feel I should be reimbursed for gas and mileage that I have accrued doing their errands for them. I learned a very hard lesson a couple of weeks ago, not to go above and beyond for them because it will not get recognized.

    I do feel a conversation is needed shortly. I need to set out the boundaries and clarify what my responsibilities are.

  • 8 CareerSidekick :

    Beautiful advice. I tend to get caught up in finding what my employer can give me, and I’ve found i’ve been a lot better off career-wise when I’m able to stop and think about what i can contribute to THEM.

  • 9 Shauna :

    Ashley – Best of luck and let us know how things go!

    CareerSideKick – It’s easy to do that, thanks for the comment!