Heading Back To Work And Imposter Syndrome

So, I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I appear to have landed myself a job. A seemingly made for me, perfect job. I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks but I have already developed a severe case of The Fear, which I think might also be known as Imposter Syndrome.

This is what Wikipedia (yeah yeah, I know shut up) has to say about Imposter Syndrome:

“Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalise their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Some studies suggest that impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.”

Now, my first reaction is IMMEDIATELY to say, now I’m not a high achieving individual but…but, I am. I’m highly educated – I have a degree and a masters in History, which I want to dismiss as easy – but it wasn’t. I want to say I could have done better, anyone else would have done better, but what’s wrong with a 2:1 and an MA exactly? It took me a while to find my feet in my career – I meandered a lot, but in my last job I ended up working on a really high profile charity project at a top level. That’s an achievement, isn’t it? But I always felt like luck and chance had got me there, and that I hadn’t done anything to deserve it. I still feel like that, even writing this and seeing how stupid that looks written down. It sounds like some fucking awful humble brag, but it isn’t. I’ve never, ever felt like I was good enough for anything.

This isn’t just a feeling I’ve had about work either – I feel like this about being a mother too. I feel like I’m winging it and hoping for the best, that I’m actually a bit crap. But I know that lots of other Mum’s feel like that too – and I have a little boy who, (maybe 65% of the time), absolutely adores me, and tells me so. But work?

This new job, which is a really great opportunity for me, and fits in so well with what Rian needs too. Well, I landed it partly due to a connection, but also largely in part to the skills I got from writing this blog – things that I have taught myself, not for any gain, but because I had to keep learning, keep working and doing. And all that hard work has paid off in the form of said new job – which I am perfectly capable of doing. I know I am – it’s all right here in black and white.

So why do I feel like such a fraud? Has anyone else felt like this?


4 thoughts on “Heading Back To Work And Imposter Syndrome

  1. This rings so true! There are other people who fudge and blag their way to the top (Trump?) and know nothing and don’t care, but I think knowing what you don’t know is actually a good thing!

  2. Yup, I often feel like I’m just about to be found out at work. People seem to think I’m good at my job, but I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m just really good at faking it? Part of me knows that I have the skills to pull it off, but there’s always that part of me that doubts myself.

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