For a while now, I’ve been hearing more about the topic of Imposter Syndrome - a sense of unease that possibly you aren’t actually qualified for the new role you’ve just accepted. Where there initially was excitement and celebration for this latest development in your career, now there’s a feeling that you somehow don’t belong - that you’re an imposter.
Perhaps this a relatively new experience for a new era, or possibly it’s just a renaming of the doubts and fears that have always followed us into new territory that places us slightly outside of our comfort zone. In any case, keeping the following points in mind may help to ride out these initial emotional buzzings until you’ve found your footing for your new situation.
All of this having been said, there does remain the possibility that a person could absolutely oversell themselves and end up in a very uncomfortable situation. There are two ways this could happen. The first is when a person deliberately oversells themselves and goes into a new job with an “I’ll fake it until I make it” strategy. In this case, the person is an imposter, and I strongly recommend against this. It generally doesn’t end well and costs the hiring company time, money, and frustration, and more than likely will cost the candidate their job.
The second and more common scenario is when the candidate inadvertently oversells themselves. This happens when there is some degree of breakdown in the communication with regard to what skills and experience the candidate actually brings to the table and what the actual expectations are for the role they are going into. These are fairly easy to safeguard against by keeping the following points in mind.
Ideally, a new role will be a bit of a stretch for you because that’s how we grow in our careers. So in a sense, you’ll be a bit of an imposter until you get your footing in this new phase of your work life. But with proper preparation, the discomfort of this transition should be minimal and the rewards should be well worth it.
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Brian Skory is one of Stout's Tech Talent Managers. Brian has has been with Stout since 2007 and is responsible for matching great talent with great jobs . Before Stout, Brian worked in a variety of technical industries including learning and development for software application training. In his spare time, Brian enjoys running, hiking Arizona's mountains, swimming, and rock climbing.