Imposter Syndrome is a characterized condition that one feels, typically in work environments, that others know far more than they do. Often it is associated with feelings such as “I slipped through the cracks” or “I got lucky to get this job” or “It’s only a matter of time before they find out I’m not qualified”. While these may seem like normal self-doubts to have when starting a new role, they are actually signs of Imposter Syndrome.
Having visited Google, Workday, and having a guest speaker from Common Purpose, all mention “Imposter Syndrome” the notarity of the syndrome is prevalent.
Imposter Syndrome is something I first heard about at Google Training last summer in Mountain View California. We were given 3 workshops involving Imposter Syndrome just due to the nature at which Google attempts to heavily mitigate the problems that arise from it.
The talks amazed me, as I previously was going through Imposter Syndrome heavily during my summer internship. I worked with Ingram Micro, a Fortune 50 company. There I felt as if I had “Slipped through the cracks” and was lucky to have gotten the job without them noticing. However, I later realized that I was the perfect candidate for the job and actually was hired due to such. Prior to knowing Imposter Syndrome, I never would have been able to realize this. Yet, by knowing it, I was made aware of something I have frequently and can work towards fixing.
The feelings of not being “good enough” that come from Imposter Syndrome, I feel can be solved for myself by learning. For my upcoming internship with Citi Hong Kong, I will be joining Masters students, with each intern from another country. There I will be expected to represent America and show them why a second-year undergraduate student from Pitt was able to beat masters students from Duke, U of Chicago, and Berkeley (just to name the students in my group interviews). Also, why such a student was selected to work with the CFO.
To do this, I have realzied I just need to learn everything associated with having a great understanding of important concepts. For me, I do this by learning all I can about as many areas that are useful to me as possible. Whether it be on the Dublin Site Visits asking questions, or completing Coursera courses during my free time. I greatly enjoy finding a way to continually learn to bridge any gaps.
Also, working intensively assures me that I am capable. Thus, if I place in the top 3 on leaderboards for work/school, and see that I am working later, earlier, and more productively than others, I’m assured that I can match or exceed expectations in regards to self-doubt. Not drinking or going out as well, can allow me further time as well and I feel is a major strength and why I now feel comfortable in myself and with this syndrome under control.
If a colleague were having imposter syndrome, I would direct them towards asking HR for the number of applicants who applied for their job. I’d also direct them to their team/manager to ask why they stood out from the other interviewees. I feel these aspects would show them the breadth of knowledge they have and why they were hired.
I’d also point out their ability to learn, to showcase the way that people are hired primarily due to culture fit, not simply what they know already, and knowledge can be taught to anyone.