Sometimes, entering a new job role isn’t smooth sailing and it isn’t long before feelings of inadequacy emerge after a couple workplace setbacks. Sentiments of not belonging and feeling underqualified are not rare for those experiencing wobbly adjustment periods with new responsibilities. This sensation is defined as imposter syndrome, something commonly felt at one stage or another by professionals at all levels of seniority.
As well as impacting confidence and productivity, imposter syndrome can affect mental health, something that of course benefits neither you nor employers. Overcoming it is a step by step process, but it is possible to regain that sense of confidence that drove you to winning the role in the first place.
Here are our tips on how to tackle imposter syndrome at work:
Keep a record of accomplishments
Mistakes and setbacks can easily overwhelm the sense of self, allowing you to sink into a hole of insecurity. But you were hired for a reason; start tackling imposter syndrome by tracking your wins and praises from peers and managers alike. To-do lists are also easy ways for you to see your ability to complete tasks assigned to you – having a list of ticked off responsibilities at the end of the day is the first step towards acknowledging what you have accomplished. Depending on your role, your responsibilities will be mostly tasks that you have the unique ability to tackle at your workplace. Remind yourself that you beat other candidates to carry out these tasks.
Nurture a support system at work
One thing that can lead to imposter syndrome is lacking a close relationship with peers and not feeling like you belong in the company culture. Isolation is an unhelpful action when feeling insecure. Not only does nurturing relationships at work help build your network for the future, but also will help understand others' struggles too. In comparing experiences, you will soon realise that not everybody around you is consistently exceeding expectations.
Having a friendly rapport with your boss can never hurt. Work towards feeling comfortable enough to ask them on your progress - achievements and concerns alike.
Learn more about your company's industry
Being up to date with what is happening within your industry is a crucial stepping stone towards feeling secure in your new job. Learning more about the world in which you work can at least ensure a heightened awareness of how your company operates within and impacts the industry. The more you know, the more you will feel confident in your duties as well as in conversations with peers, clients or suppliers.
Tackle areas of improvement head-on
Are you a marketing executive that delivers on social media and email campaigns, but stumbles in rudimentary graphic design? Is that skill even required in the role? When feeling unsure about how qualified you are to take on a role, consider the primary job responsibilities and your areas of ‘weakness’ and invest time in ensuring these gaps are filled in order to avoid future feelings of vulnerability. Challenge yourself to enter work scenarios that usually fill you with dread, such as presenting in front of an audience, and don’t stop until you it no longer causes the same anxiety.
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