How to Combat Tech’s Prevalent Imposter Syndrome

Is imposter syndrome weighing you down in the workplace? If so, you’re not alone. Imposter syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills and studies suggest that imposter syndrome affects approximately 70% of technical professionals.

Interviewing.io, a platform where technical professionals can anonymously practice technical interviews, found that imposter syndrome affects both male and female technical professionals equally and that no one is immune to this self-doubt. The only thing they found to help mitigate some of the symptoms was seniority, though it doesn’t dissipate the effects entirely.

With imposter syndrome lurking around every corner, what should technical professionals do when faced with intimidating technical interviews, ambitious projects, speaking up during meetings, asking for raises, and beyond? The following 4 tactics can help.

4 Tactics for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome as an IT Professional

1. Create a Praise and Achievements Folder: Keeping track of your quantifiable achievements and the positive feedback you receive from superiors is great for your job search and for combatting imposter syndrome! When you feel the doubt creeping in, refer to the folder filled with everything you’ve accomplished so far and it will boost your confidence and help you tackle your intimidating workload.

2. Find People Who Relate: Imposter syndrome makes you feel like your success isn’t deserved or your skills and experience aren’t enough, but it doesn’t just make you feel that way. Sometimes, the best way to combat those nagging feelings of inadequacy is to share them with coworkers or people in your professional network who understand and can relate. Once you see the effects of imposter syndrome influencing professionals who you respect, admire, and enjoy working with, it’s easier to see past your own self-doubt.

3. Embrace the Uncomfortable: While it may seem counterintuitive at first, one of the best ways to battle your imposter syndrome is to put yourself into uncomfortable situations more often. If sharing your ideas with executives makes you uncomfortable, do it. If going to a networking event to expand your professional network makes you feel inadequate, you need to go anyways. The best way to reduce your self-doubt is to put yourself in these uncomfortable situations more often because you’ll see that they’re not so scary after all and it will help you gain the confidence you need to boost your IT career.

4. Let Time Heal All: The above three tactics will help immediately, but the best thing you can do to put imposter syndrome in its place is to gain experience over time. They say that time heals all wounds and, while imposter syndrome is less of a wound and more of an anxiety-inducing annoyance, one of the best ways to get rid of it is to gain more experience. In fact, a recent Stack Overflow survey found that imposter syndrome drops significantly after a technical professional has 10 or more years of experience under their belt. If you’re not quite there yet, use the above 3 tactics and know that further relief is coming.

Imposter syndrome is a normal but unfortunately prevalent phenomenon amongst technical professionals. However, using these 4 tactics and knowing how ubiquitous it is may help you move more confidently through your technical career. If you need additional help from an IT search executive (or recruiter) to help boost your confidence during the job search and beyond, contact one of our highly trained staff members.