When you start a new job (especially your first!) there are a million emotions running around. I’ve just started my new job, well – I’m now 2/3 of the way through my first placement (I’ve got 8 in total!) but yeah I’m pretty new. And boy do I feel it.
Some of the emotions that come with new jobs are great — like excitement, that joy of new beginnings, and a real readiness to learn. They keep you on your toes and there’s nothing better than an eager newbie (or so I’m told!).
But some of the other emotions that crop up are not all that great. And the pesky emotion that tends to crop up when we start to step outside our comfort zone is our good old friend: imposter syndrome.
I had heard of the word a gazillion time. As a female in finance, the only kid in my grade to go into finance and one of the few in my community (I get so excited when I meet a fellow gal in finance – so hit me up if that’s you, I’d love to share experiences) so I was pretty much bound to bump heads with the imposter beast at some point or another. Yet when it came to bother me I wanted to yell “GO AWAY!!!”
The pest in imposter
Imposter syndrome can make us feel like we shouldn’t be there or worse, that we think someone will find out that we’re a fraud (which we’re not, obvs) and we’ll get shown the door.That’s imposter syndrome in its most dramatic form but more often than not it’s *just* a niggling feeling, a voice telling us we can’t do it.
Imposter syndrome can also show itself in a slightly different way: us thinking that we got to where we are because of ‘luck’ or ‘chance’. We fail to see that it’s because of our skill, hard work and diligence! Not attributing where we are to all the things that we are is really damaging. Trust me, I’m guilty of it all the time.
Imposter syndrome is one of those things I wish would just disappear oh and along with spots! I’m in my early 20s. Why am I still breaking out?! Anyway, I wish I could whisk the emotion away. Like get up and host a meeting or something and feel totally competent and in my depth while doing so and boom. Job done. Move onto bigger and better things. But no! That’s just not how it’s meant to be. So we might as well use it to our advantage. right?!
You’re gonna have it anyway, so might as well use it!
What I’ve realised is that imposter syndrome can be a pain and can literally paralyse you which is why you’ve gotta flip it on its head otherwise it can seriously hold you back. And you’re way better than that.
And it all begins with slightly changing what we think imposter syndrome means. If we look deeper, what imposter syndrome is telling us is that we’ve chosen growth over comfort — hurrah! — and secondly, it shows you care.
If you never felt that twinge of ‘how am I here?’, ‘am I really capable?’, ‘can I do it?’ and so on, it means you’re stuck in a kind of comfort rut. And that isn’t good for anyone. Plus, if you didn’t have those feelings of inadequacy or feeling like you aren’t doing enough, it probably means you don’t care, and also shows a smidgen (or more!) of arrogance.
Let it drive you forward
Use that sneaky little voice inside your head to push you forward.
Think of it as your mini coach. The one who wants you to succeed. And you’ll only succeed if you get outside your comfort zone (talking to myself here!) and doing things you don’t feel qualified for. Have the courage to do all the things you never thought you could do.
Don’t let that feeling of being out of your depth put you off. Instead, let it propel you to give it your all.
When we feel like this, we’ll jolly well make sure we’re prepared. After all, we don’t want to let ourselves down — or the people who’ve hired us!
New jobs bring out the imposter syndrome in us — but don’t let it scare you off
On the first day of my Asset Management grad scheme I was sat (with the other 2 grads) on a massive round table surrounded by all sorts of super senior people from across the business.
I almost thought, is this really *me* that’s sat here?
One of them went on to say how we’re the future leaders of the biz. The future change drivers. The innovators. Wow.
What I’ve realised is that as a new joiner — and even more so, fresh out of uni — you’re not gonna know most of it! And that’s fine.
No one expects us to know it all. And quite frankly, no one knows it all. People are just good at looking like they do! What they want is curiosity, a willingness to learn and a growth mindset.
The knowledge and technicals? Ah, they’ll teach you that. As will the exams! Which makes me realise it’s less than 3 weeks till my first one. Already counting down the days till my exams are over but I suppose that’s a little while anyway now.
Look, we all put a little too much pressure on ourselves. So let’s cut ourselves some slack. We’re doing better than you think you are.
And remember, they picked YOU for a reason.
Show me the proof!
If you’re still not convinced, one thing I’ve found to be really helpful is to write down a list of your achievements — these are your wins, however small!
They could be things like ‘I delivered XYZ’ or ‘I had a really productive meeting’.
Jot it all down.
Anytime you’ve done something that you think, hey. That was good. Write it down.
Then, next time you’re hit with those imposter syndrome thoughts, you can show yourself the proof. The evidence that you’re doing alright! More than alright, I bet.
Keep reminding yourself that you’ve gone out your comfort zone; meeting new people, navigating a totally new environment — are all pretty big wins in my eyes. And I’ll take it.
You’re more capable than you think.
Remember, you were hired because someone saw your potential.
Now make sure that you realise it yourself! In every sense of the word.
Leave a Reply