In a fast-paced digital world, the increasing pressure to succeed in the tech industry is taking a toll on employees. Recent studies show that at least 58% of employees in the tech industry experience the Imposter Syndrome in their careers.
While overcoming the imposter syndrome can be challenging, you can take strategic steps to dampen the feelings and become successful in your career.
Promote Yourself to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Most people in the tech industry tend to wait for someone who can anoint and declare them as leaders in the industry. While advocating for yourself can be daunting, especially in a system that has taught you to vouch for approval before seeking advancement.
Most people are used to doing the work, getting a positive evaluation, and waiting for permission to move forward. This mindset can make you feel you’ve been passed over in a promotion or lucrative opportunities because your evaluation was insufficient.
The vicious cycle can continue until you realize that an organization’s values and priorities are not similar to yours. In most cases, career stagnation may be interpreted as an affirmation of your competence, and your organization wouldn’t want to disrupt what is working well for them.
Therefore, realizing the importance of promoting yourself to the fullest is essential. If you want to pursue new opportunities, you must advocate for your interests and look for the roles you desire diligently. This way, you are giving yourself the promotion instead of waiting for your peers to do it.
Consider Your Tech Career as a Marathon, Not a Splint
Your career is a marathon, not a splint. In a splint, athletes deploy all their energy instantly to see how fast they can run. On the other hand, a marathon is about pacing yourself to reach the distant finish line in the shortest time possible. Careers in technology are often long, and the end may not be in sight—making even people with years of experience suffer from imposter syndrome. When you set a steady pace in your career, you can go far and gather new skills and information along the way.
Often, tech professionals try to fast-track their progress by grossing over crucial learning steps, including grasping how things work in the industry. While this may seem like an excellent move, it can hurt your career because you may not be meeting the expected quality standards. But if you take your time to understand the foundation of your industry from the very beginning, it’s easier to make consistent progress.
While quick wins can give you instant gratification, using too much effort to deliver projects can leave you feeling like you are not meant for the job. It’s best to understand that it may take several months or years to build the skills necessary to reach your full potential.
Learn, Grow, and Face the Facts to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
When you see more experienced people in fields like robotics radiating confidence and competence in their roles, it can be difficult to see yourself at their level. But the truth is that everyone starts as a novice when learning fundamental principles in robotics.
When you gather data and facts about your industry, you can easily combat feelings of inadequacy. Most importantly, recognize your achievements in order to learn and grow. You can also list your accomplishments for quick reference whenever your impression of personal abilities dwindles.
The need for consistent learning and growth is necessary and has many benefits. However, it will not be comfortable. Typically, it takes humility to accept that you don’t know something since attempting tasks with inadequate skills can leave you feeling like a failure. Whenever you face setbacks, it’s prudent to see them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Don’t Try to Copy Others
Having reliable people that you look up to in your career is crucial, but never try to be them. One of the main reasons most tech professionals feel like imposters is because they see themselves as outsiders. However, the tech industry requires diversity to grow and thrive.
Regardless of where you are in your career path, there’s no point in giving up your unique identity to blend in. Unfortunately, most people spend years trying to change their true image and reflect on what they see in the organization.
If you are in the senior leadership of an organization, try to build an inclusive work environment that embraces diversity. Typically, people tend to thrive more when they can freely identify with peers and get support from mentors. This approach can help minority groups stop feeling like outsiders or imposters working in an industry that hardly accommodates them.
It may not be easy to beat the imposter syndrome, especially when working in the demanding tech industry. But acknowledging the reality can help you make a plan to overcome the situation. Try to look back and review your achievements and appreciate positive feedback from other people. Regardless of your work experience, you can shake off the imposter syndrome and thrive in your career.