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Is imposter syndrome holding back your career?

Most people have “off days” at work. You know the ones—you’re second-guessing yourself, and you feel that you’re not qualified to do your job. It can happen to the best of us and it’s most common in people working their first job, or a new job. The funny thing is, research has shown that this feeling, labeled “imposter syndrome,” tends to most often affect top performers, perfectionists and people who are highly critical of themselves. So in essence, the very people who are working hard day in and day out are also the same people who frequently judge themselves and feel they’re coming up short. If this sounds familiar, you may be someone who experiences imposter syndrome from time to time.

What you can do to improve your situation

When you feel the negative emotions related to imposter syndrome, you can take steps to help yourself feel better:

Remind yourself of a very important fact.

And that fact is that hiring managers know what they’re doing. So if you’ve been hired for a position, you’re well qualified to do it. Put any doubts out of your mind that you don’t have what it takes to do your job.

Think about your success.

Once that first step is out of the way, it’s time to think about everything you’ve done. Think about your education, your knowledge and your accomplishments. Write them down, if you have to. Then look at your list whenever you that imposter syndrome creeping in—because you absolutely have what it takes!

Build a support network.

Identify a few friends (inside and outside the office) who are familiar with your accomplishments and work ethic. If you’re having a day when you’re really down in the dumps, reach out and simply ask them for reinforcement of your success and accomplishments. If your imposter syndrome is related to a condition such as anxiety or depression, it can also help to work with a professional counselor to combat your negative feelings.

Learn new things.

One of the best ways to cheer up when you’re feeling down is to exercise your brain! Take a refresher course in your field or learn something completely new. The feeling of accomplishment you’ll have can be a natural mood booster when you’re feeling like you don’t know enough. Remember: knowledge is power!

Need a new job?

If your job is stressing you out and making you feel like you’re not good enough, maybe now is the time to simply try something new. And if you’re in search of your next job, Wood Personnel can help. Check out our job search page or contact us today to learn more.