Overcoming Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace

by Sarah Niderost, 3 minutes read
HOME blog overcoming imposter syndrome in the workplace

After a yearlong struggle of floating between part-time work and furloughs, you enter a new landscape of job opportunities in industries you didn’t think you’d be interested in. So, you apply for roles you don’t have all the skills for. Though you don’t have all the roles’ requirements, you see yourself learning them as you grow. And, after rounds of interviewing, you got the job.

You feel relieved that your job insecurity subsided, but for some reason, you feel guilty that you, out of all eligible candidates, got offered a position you didn’t have all the skills for. Was it luck? Did not that many people actually apply? Did you oversell yourself?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. And, you’re not alone. You’re part of the 70% of people who experience the same thing.

So, what is imposter syndrome?

While there are many definitions of imposter syndrome, they all relate to the belief that you’re not as competent as other people think you are. And, in simpler terms, it’s the experience of feeling like you’re going to look like a fraud — or as if you don’t belong.

Some signs of imposter syndrome include:

  • Having the constant pressure to achieve

  • Self doubt

  • Being hypercritical

  • Stressing out when not working

Imposter syndrome is something that many shift workers and managers encounter. Even 58% of people in the tech industry face it. But there are ways to navigate feeling this way while you’re at work. There are even ways to overcome it.

Acknowledge your feelings

Negative feelings are hard to accept. But they’re easier to face when you accept them. If you’re feeling like your successes were only achieved because you got lucky, remind yourself of how you reached them. You can even write in a journal so that you’ll always have a tangible source of motivation when you’re feeling incompetent.

If you’re feeling like you are unable to do a task at work because you don’t have the skillset, talk with fellow team members and your manager.

Communicate with your team

A thriving workplace exists when you and your team constantly feel supported. Where there’s transparency, there’s clear communication.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you feel overwhelmed with the tasks you have at hand, use a central communication platform. Post a question in a newsfeed so everyone in your team can respond and assist you.

If you feel uncomfortable publicly asking a question, ask your fellow team members in person any questions that will help support you in your role. If speaking in person still sounds a little nerve racking, speak with your individual coworkers privately using a messaging tool.

Set reminders

Create notifications on your mobile device or laptop that pop-up daily to display mantras to help foster self confidence. They can say things like, “finished is better than perfect,” or “you belong.”

You can even write them on post-it notes and stick them to your bathroom mirror so you can read them as you get ready for work. If you know that some of your coworkers are experiencing the same feelings you are, stick the post-it notes in a common area at your workplace, i.e. your break room, cash register, and even the espresso machine.

Take breaks

When you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, you may be overworking yourself. Getting all your work done perfectly and being critical of the way you perform your tasks could lead you to feel less motivated, and doubtful of your own ability.

Your work doesn’t need to be perfect 100% of the time. Take breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if you feel like you can’t focus on your job duties. You can even set up alerts on your mobile device to take breaks. Besides, it’s also required to take breaks during your shift. So don’t feel bad for taking them.

Do the best you can

If you ever feel like an imposter, you’re not alone. Most people experience doubt at many points throughout their life, and that’s perfectly normal. If you feel like you’re incompetent at your workplace, take the time to understand your feelings and communicate with your coworkers and supervisor.

Want to learn more about how you can grow in your new and upcoming roles? Download the 2021 Job Search and Hiring Guide and succeed in the future of shift work.

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