My career in recruitment thus far has been a steep learning curve.
This role has challenged me at every turn, it’s challenged my time management, communication, customer service skills, and attention to detail - all the qualities that I thought I had mastered in my previous roles. In this new environment, I found myself questioning my ability and got so caught up in feeling like I was failing in these areas rather than appreciating the fact that I was learning and developing those existing skills! There is actually a name for this…enter ‘Imposter Syndrome’.
So, what is Imposter Syndrome?
According to Collins Dictionary, Imposter Syndrome is “A feeling that despite evidence of competence, you do not deserve any success you achieve and are afraid of being judged by others who you believe are better than you.”
Some Symptoms of this Phenomenon Include:
Perfectionism - You see mistakes as failures. Good is not good until it’s perfect.· Overworking - Staying back late, coming in early, working through your lunch break. You might put in extra hours to try and prove your worth.
Undermining your achievements - Little accomplishments aren’t enough. You disregard compliments and recognise the end goal as the only goal that’s worthy of discussion.
Fear of failure - Not just being scared of trying but also fearing failure. For some people, these irrational thoughts can be debilitating.
How to Overcome It?
Reframe failure as a learning opportunity - As humans, we will never stop learning, take every opportunity you can and learn from it.
Ask for help - Find a buddy or colleague to help keep you accountable, and to give you some tough love when you need a reality check.
Recognise the feelings and talk about it - It’s okay not to be okay, but don’t let these thoughts define you.
Reflection - Look at what you’ve achieved so far and be grateful for it. You may not be making the leaps and bounds you had expected but those little wins and milestones are leading you to bigger ones!
It took a while for me to reframe my thoughts, to understand that I’m new in my role and to see the challenges I’ve faced as useful lessons that I now can complete with ease and with confidence. It’s certainly not an automatic transition either, and you might need to consciously remind yourself of Steps 1 to 4 before it becomes natural and you are no longer suffering from ‘Imposter Syndrome’!