Preventing ‘Impostor Syndrome’
‘Impostor syndrome’ can seem like a positive on the surface. When you’re in a position of renewed authority, prestige or responsibility, you may find that you feel like you do not belong there. This can seem like a natural reaction to your goals and dreams being achieved, as we spend so much time thinking about how to achieve them we can forget what it will be like when that happens.
However, while impostor syndrome can seem like a fun thing to feel, as it might dissipate in a couple of days, some people find that it actually affects their work, their personal life, and their self-esteem to a tremendous degree. Of course, if any of us married into the royal family, or were granted ownership rights of the Disney corporation, we would likely feel out of place. That being said, in our professional lives, in a job we are qualified or have worked our way towards (or if this is in our future), it can be worth taking the time to prevent this most troublesome of feelings.
This way you can get to work without much in the way of personal instability. Please consider our advice to this end:
Source The Syndrome
Where is your impostor syndrome coming from? Is it because you’ve never worked in this particular industry before, despite your transferable skills? A project manager in a firm might find themselves feeling a little out of their depth producing a film, for instance, despite many of their talents allowing them to stay competent in this field. Perhaps you can understand why you feel this way, and when you do, that feeling will dissipate. However, if it’s coming from a less-healthy source, such as an unhelpful and irritating person in your office downplaying your confidence any chance they can get, you know how to address it. Be sure to consider where the bulk of this feeling comes from – it will help you with the best forward response.
Remind Yourself of All of Your Achievements
Take the time to reflect on how much you’ve achieved, all the skills you’ve gained and where your strengths lie. You are worthy of all your accomplishments and deserve the recognition you get!
If you’re finding this step particularly hard it might be a good idea to keep a record of your wins. Keep a folder of all your certificates, update your cv and linkedin profile with new experiences regularly and write out a to-do list everyday (bonus: ticking off each job is a great motivator!).
Learn to qualify yourself in the best way you can. With an online AACSB accredited MBA program you can attribute the commonly understood best practices of your field and completely reduce any ignorance or ‘blind-spots’ you may have held when starting a new position. This can give you the best intellectual grounding and may also help you think creatively within your role, rather than following protocol to an absolute fault.
Shadowing & Placements
If you can, arranging an attendance of a working placement or shadowing those you are or may be responsible for can be important. It can help you dispel any impressions you may have in mind and instead allows you to focus on the real progression of office life there. Additionally, you can see just how industry standards are respected or ignored, or what the practical ground-level problems are. This can help you completely avoid the ‘out of touch’ manager syndrome we all know and dislike, allowing you to contribute to healthy changes within your role. Nothing could help you feel like less of an impostor when you inform yourself to this degree.