You, The Imposter

In her 2015 bestseller Lean In, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes:

The phenomenon of capable people being plauged by self-doubt has a name – imposter syndrome.

For many, the term is a refreshing putting-of-words to something we’ve felt but failed to understand.

Do you feel like an imposter? Do you, despite being well-qualified for the job you currently hold, have a consistent dialog running through your head that tells you you’re not good enough, you’ve fooled everyone, and soon you’ll be found out?

Chances are, you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome.

It’s a tricky affliction, one that causes us to systematically discredit and minimize our own accomplishments. Did you make the sale? Get a promotion? Close a deal?

“Luck,” the imposter in you will say. “That was a close one. Pretty soon, they’ll discover who I really am.”

But don’t despair. There are several ways to overcome this sneaky form of self-doubt. Here are my Top 3 remedies for banishing you inner Imposter.

  1. Know You are Qualified

When you start a new job, it’s easy to feel like the New Kid. But remember, this is a new job. Chances are you’ll have questions about procedure and other aspects the company culture, and this is totally fine while you’re settling in. Don’t feel that your lack of knowledge makes you instantly fireable; instead, trust that you got the job because you were the most qualified candidate. Ask questions when appropriate, and don’t be afraid to be a student while you learn the ropes.

2. Know Your Boss Likes You

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, a candidate’s likability is often a greater factor in their getting hired than their resume. This should come as no surprise, because really, wouldn’t we all hire the people that strike a chord with us personally, knowing that we’ll be working with them every day?

3. Know Your Employer has Invested in You

In 2017, a position in any given industry remained open for an average of 42 days before being filled. That’s a long time for your employer to be without someone capable handling business. Your employer doesn’t want to lose you and risk another 42 days of wasted time while he/she looks yet again for a qualified and likable candidate. Not only that, the average employer spends an average of $1200 per year for each employee on continued training and development.

Tell that Imposter to hush hush by knowing your’re qualified, knowing you’re liked, and knowing that your boss has invested time and money into you. And remember – managers don’t want to get rid of you; they want to work with you to maximize your strengths and skills.



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