Achieved a huge promotion that that sees you manage projects and lead teams? Feel like an undeserving fraud and everyone knows it? This is the psychological phenomenon of imposter syndrome that is sweeping the US
Imposter syndrome can be identified as when you feel like a fraud within the workplace, convincing yourself that your place was gained through luck, a mistake or influences outside of your remit. Imposter syndrome sees that a person cannot except the fact that they are responsible for their own achievements.
The effects of imposter syndrome can be stifling and deprive you of your dream career. It can hinder you from applying to certain roles within companies, hamper you within the interview process and even have a detrimental effect on the content of you C.V. Those that recognise themselves as experiencing imposter syndrome can self-deprecate themselves to the point of self-destruction. Unwilling to highlight their previous achievements and play down their roles within the workplace, this can lead to recruiters having no other option but to recruit a candidate that may be less able however, exerts confidence within themselves.
Imposter syndrome can lead to an employee checking over their work repeatedly as they have little faith in what they do. In turn, this leads to them slowing down the pace in which they produce work. The phenomenon can also effect the workers work life balance as they attempt to over compensate for their ‘inadequacies’ and arrive at the office early and stay late. If this behaviour persists then career burnout can ensue.
Put your hand up
Imposter syndrome can lead to the belief that if you ask for advice or help with certain tasks, then you are an instant failure. Of course, this is not the case. Do not try to be a hero and over compensate. If you need help, advice and/or ideas then ask around the office. Not only will this give you faith in yourself as it is likely to build your relationships with your team, it will also develop your skill set as you learn from others.
You are never an expert
Stop believing that you should be an expert. No body is an expert in everything, including your CEO. Mistakes are often made when a person believes that they should know something so then take a stab in the dark. If you do not know something, then it is not a crime to ask. It is not a stupid question if you do not know the answer. Asking questions that you think you should know the answer to can often lead to others realising that there is a problem within the project that they have not yet uncovered. Be brave and ask the question.
Recognise imposter syndrome
Identify the signs of imposter syndrome. Whether it be a sudden surge of anxiety, second guessing yourself or permanent insecurity. By identifying imposter syndrome, you will be able to tackle it head on. This means that you can develop the thought process of, ‘I know what this is, and I know the coping mechanisms to deal with it’.