Thursday, January 14, 2016

Imposter Syndrome

As I come to the last day of my placement I am faced with the prospect of starting a new placement (i.e. new job) in just 3 days time. The old impostor syndrome begins to rear its ugly head. This wonderful Buzzfeed post explains it perfectly!!

For me, that feeling is diminishing more and more as I gain substantial work experience and prove myself to my colleagues and managers. But starting a new role is always daunting, and the illogical feeling that I will be "found out" starts all over again. 

There is a strange double-impostor syndrome that I feel as I segue into an alternative-academia role. As a PhD student and then as an academic job hunter, I constantly felt that other candidates were better than I was. Throughout my PhD I had feelings of "why did they let me in?" or "surely my acceptance was a clerical error!". Of course, now I have the doctorate in hand those feelings have subsided, but even looking for academic jobs I hesitated applying because I felt I wasn't up-to-scratch for whatever reason.

Now, working in alternative academia, I feel that impostor syndrome in other ways. At the beginning I shied away from mentioning my doctorate for fear that I wouldn't live up to the high expectations that come with that.* I'm much more confident now, and know that my doctorate has given me the skills to succeed in whatever work I do. 

I trust that a lot more now.

But, although substantially diminished, the nerves will still be there on Monday morning.


Kristin Chirico/Buzzfeed




*Of course, there was the other illogical, irrational, and unfounded idea swirling in my head that people would think I was a cop-out or failure for not being in an academic job! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fiona! A friend of yours (emeraldfootprint) just commented on a blog post that I wrote about finishing my PhD and recommended your blog. So, first off, nice to meet you! And second, oh gosh, imposter syndrome, yes. It's still haunting me even though I successfully defended. I keep thinking, well, I guess I somehow squeaked by, but my committee was probably just being nice by passing me. It's such a weird mental game that we play with ourselves, isn't it? I'm glad you're feeling more confident these days. :)

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