Wednesday, 27 June 2018

So, This Is Imposter Syndrome

Earlier on this year I started a new job at a new company.

I am a big lover of change, so I was very excited to start a new chapter in my life.

It can be daunting to start a new job. Some of my worries include whether I will get along with everyone, what the management team will be like and whether I will actually be able to do the work.

I just wasn’t expecting to worry about the last point so much. 

I think part of it is because in previous jobs I have gone in at entry level, whereas for this role I went in as a manager.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to go in knowing everything and to not need any help, which of course is unnecessary. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when in you’re in a new company that does things differently to what you’re used to.

I am pretty confident with my skills and knowledge required for my job. I’m very aware that there’s always more to learn and different ways to look at things. But I feel like I got the basics nailed down, at the very least.

Despite this I have been worrying that I don’t actually know what I am doing.

The panic I have felt about being fired has been very stressful. It took me a while before I even considered it was Imposter Syndrome. 

I first learnt this term a few years ago, but I haven’t moved job in a few years so I never really gave it much thought. Up until now.

According to Wikipedia around 70% of people will ‘experience signs and symptoms of imposter phenomenon at least once in their lives.’

If you haven’t heard of Imposter Syndrome it basically occurs when you feel like a fraud, you doubt your accomplishments and you have a persistent fear that you are going to be exposed as a fraud.

Pretty much sums it up for me.

When people have asked for some work, I have sent it and dreaded getting a reply back like “what the hell is this, do you even know what you’re doing?” or that people will discuss how bad it is behind my back.

If things have gone wrong beyond my control I feel like it was because of something I did or that I could have done something to prevent it, and everyone knows it.

If things have gone right then wasn’t that just lucky for me, definitely not a direct result of something I did.

It’s felt like a ticking time bomb situation until everyone finds out. Once they realise I am a huge fraud they will rightly fire me straight away and I should give up working in this industry because clearly I know absolutely nothing about anything and who in their right mind would hire me again.

The Muse and Start Up Bros, amongst many others, have articles on how to get over imposter syndrome. 

They recommend things like identifying why exactly you feel this fear, reminding yourself of all your achievements, talking to someone about it to help identify your irrational thoughts, remembering that being wrong doesn’t make you a fake and to try writing your story down.

With time my imposter syndrome has started to fade away, yay, but it’s not completely gone. I’ve gone from worrying every day that I will be fired to maybe worrying every few days. 

I’m going to try all the tips I find online and if something works then I’ll update this post if any of it actually does.

Have you dear with Imposter Syndrome before? What helped you through? 

Dress: New Look
Shoes: ASOS


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