How Imposter Syndrome Can Prevent You from Getting Your Dream Job
I’ve blogged about this before in one form or another. But rarely so directly. And I’m sure you know it’s been on my mind a lot recently. It’s an issue that I know is common within the technical writing community, and I suspect even more so in the larger non-technical writing community. It’s a psychological pattern in which individuals doubt their achievements and fear being exposed as frauds even though we have the credentials and experiences to counter those doubts. This syndrome can have a significant impact on your daily interactions with work colleague or clients, but for many of us it can also impact our chances of landing that dream job. It can affect your confidence, increase self-doubt, fear of failure, and negative self-talk.
Here’s how imposter syndrome can prevent you from getting your dream job and some tips on how to overcome it.
The Impact of Imposter Syndrome
If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, it can prevent you from pursuing your dream job or even applying for it. So many of us already self-select out of a job posting if we don’t have one or two of the myriad qualifications listed. You may feel like you are not qualified or experienced enough for the job, even if you possess most of the necessary skills and qualifications. This feeling of inadequacy can lead to self-doubt and a lack of confidence, which can directly result in actively not applying for a role you’d otherwise be suited for.
Moreover, imposter syndrome can make you feel like you do not deserve success, leading to fear of failure and avoiding risks that can help you achieve your career goals. You may also engage in negative self-talk, focusing on your weaknesses and failures, rather than your strengths and accomplishments.
Of course, the impact of imposter syndrome is not limited to the job search process. It can also affect your work performance if you do land a job. You may feel like you are not good enough, which can lead to procrastination, missed deadlines, and low productivity. This can negatively affect your career growth and opportunities for advancement; always being overlooked for promotions due to a lack of self-advocacy.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
It’s essential to recognize and manage imposter syndrome to increase your chances of landing your dream job. One easy first step is to simply apply for those jobs. Remember, an application isn’t a commitment. The worst you’ll get is an automated pass, or nothing at all.But you’ll never get even so much as a recruiter screen let along an interview if you don’t apply in the first place. That one small step can have huge impacts to your own capabilities to overcome imposter syndrome.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you overcome the feelings of imposter syndrome. Talking about it all with someone you trust, someone with whom you feel safe, can help you gain a new perspective and challenge your negative self-talk. Therapy isn’t the badge of shame it may have been generations before. In the generations of today it is embraced as a badge of honor for having made the intentional choices to work on improving yourself.
Additionally, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments can help combat imposter syndrome. Keeping a list of achievements and successes in the up times, no matter how small or large, helps to remind us in those down times when the negativity seeps back in. Go back to them and celebrate them regularly. This will help you recognize your value and worth, boosting your self-confidence and reducing self-doubt. There’s nothing like a dopamine rush form positive memories to help break that cycle.
Reframing is also a great strategy to work on; turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, try to identify areas where you can improve and set achievable goals. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. This will help you shift your focus from self-doubt to personal growth and development, as with anything that takes practice, you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
I know imposter syndrome can be challenging to deal with, but it’s crucial to recognize and manage these feelings to achieve your goals (career or otherwise). Addressing self-doubt and negative self-talk, focusing on your strengths, seeking support, setting achievable goals, and reframing your negative thoughts can help you overcome imposter syndrome and increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Remember, you are capable and deserving of success, and have a history of showing it. Don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back from pursuing your dreams and achieving your career goals. Seek the support you need, focus on your strengths, and keep pushing forward. Success is within reach if you believe in yourself and your abilities. I know I do…
And yes, this all applies to me as well. #takemyownmedicine