At the beginning of last year, I set myself a challenge: to find a new role in an agency where I was both inspired and motivated by the those around me.
One where I could learn from my colleagues and draw on their experiences; a place where I’d feel fulfilled and accomplished at the end of every day.
A few months down the line and that was exactly where I found myself.
Yep, little old me had somehow ‘winged’ my way into Equinet, as a content writer.
Within week one, the striking talent, competence and brilliance of my fellow colleagues was fully apparent, but it meant I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling that I might actually be a big fat fraud.
Operating in a constant feeling of inadequacy, uncertainty and insecurity; afraid to speak up for fear of saying something that exposes you for the imposter that you are - it’s actually more common than you think. So much so, that this it has earned itself the light-hearted, affectionate term: imposter syndrome.
So phew, it’s actually a thing. But, light-hearted it should be, when you realise how stupid it actually is.
I mean, if I really was a fraud, wouldn’t our highly capable leadership team have picked up on that? Considering Equinet's thorough recruitment process, I think so.
So to flip this on its head, I think I’ve managed to make imposter syndrome work for me. It filled me with an irrefutable drive to listen, watch, read and learn everything I could. And almost 6 months on, I’m still here. Still writing, and still learning.
The team I have around me are awe-inspiring at every juncture, from how they conduct themselves day-to-day, to how they deliver and communicate with clients. Not to mention how they write, present, and host meetings. I don’t think Jeremy can quite understand my fascination with the fact he doesn't get nervous when public speaking.
But these are all areas in which I strive to become better. And that drive to prove myself (to myself), and the excitement that each day I'm working on getting there, is what keeps me motivated to do the best job I can every day. So for that, I have to thank my case of imposter syndrome.
And who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to present, Jeremy-style!
Last fall, I met a computer science major named Patricia who shared a story about one of her first college exams. She’d studied and studied—and when her professor returned the test, he told her that she’d received the highest grade in the class. But Patricia said her initial reaction to this news wasn’t pride or excitement—it was shock. She went as far as to suggest that the professor regrade the exam. She was so full of self-doubt that, even when presented with direct evidence of her abilities, her first instinct was to question it.