How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome


When I started my first job in tech actually, every time I start another new job in tech, I feel like I don’t know anything. This feeling was especially strong early in my career When I was fresh out of college and hadn’t actually had a lot of experience yet. Sure, I had some internships under my belt But my first job was working on a team where I never even coded in their programming language So needless to say I felt SO lost. At this point of my career everything felt really intimidating I felt like I needed to prove my worth. That I was worth the offer they gave me And I wanted to prove that I belong there and deserved a seat at the table But even I didn’t really know whether this was true or not After all, I was brand new and didn’t have any other experiences to compare this to You might find yourself in this situation. This phenomenon is called imposter syndrome Literally, it is the feeling of when you start doubting your own accomplishments and Internalizing the fear that you’re going to be exposed as a fraud, and it’s incredibly common While impostor syndrome is not specific to the tech industry I do think it’s especially prevalent here. Tech jobs require a lot of skill and knowledge On average, here are just some of the things that software engineers are responsible for: Everything from standards on how to write code, how the code base is architected, How the team delivers and ships things out into the wild, what the business is like, who the users are and their biggest hurdles and getting to know co-workers and collaborating effectively with them Yep, that’s… that’s a lot and it can be overwhelming sometimes But the piece of advice that always really grounds me through all this is that Everyone has their own beginning So there’s no one who knows how to code from the day that we’re born or someone who just has this natural Talent to conjure up some code from nowhere Everyone started from scratch. They all started from somewhere and began their journey at a specific point in time Like think back to when you first started coding Maybe you were filled with excitement or you were anxiously trying to figure out how for loops work Either way, you learned how to code which landed you in this spot right here. And so did everyone else Some folks are just further ahead in their journeys than others But there’s nothing that says you can’t accomplish everything You can! Everything is just a process and while it feels like everyone else knows everything. Trust me They probably don’t and as far as starting a new career goes Everyone had their very first full-time software engineering job. As you go on throughout your career You’ll see more and more people have their first days at work and understand that it’s a very common experience to feel a little panicked on the first day and that there’s nothing wrong with anyone Another piece of advice for managing that imposter syndrome Find someone you can trust at work to help you manage it. A lot of the feelings associated with Impostor syndrome are heightened because you’re being critical of yourself and no one is stopping you from doing so. Verbalizing what your worries are to someone and having them keep you in check is a great way to ease your nerves When I do this, oftentimes, I realize I’m being overly critical of myself and that I’m the only person thinking that I can’t do this. Having someone pull you out of your own head can help you see and think clearly of what’s actually going on So try combining the skills you learned in our previous section of fostering great relationships with your teammates to what you know now about impostor syndrome Now as you work on more projects and start to get the hang of your work Hopefully the impostor syndrome will slowly start to fade with the new confidence that grows in Impostor syndrome though, sometimes doesn’t go away and like everything else. It’s a relationship to manage as you go forth in your career It’s likely that you’re always going to be challenging yourself in your work So start to figure out when and why your impostor syndrome sets in and what helps you the most to manage it Doing so will enable you to be your best self at work and have a healthy relationship with how you see yourself All right. Well, I hope this section gave you some tools on how to deal with impostor syndrome

44 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What if your co-worker (someone higher up) is trying to make you feel this way, because you don't look like him? What do you do then?

  2. Thank You…. I recently started a position… This week has being terrible, me fighting with the feeling that I can't achieve anything… feeling afraid of not being enough, honestly, this video does not solve it, but I feel a little more positive about dealing with the feeling, this is a topic that should be in the onboarding of some companies, lol.

  3. I just had to click, at this point imposter syndrome is my middle name ??‍♀️ thanks for the advice!

  4. The people I see talking about imposter syndrome the most are Asians. Sashi and you are two examples in the past week. According to research from University of Texas, Asians are more likely to experience feelings of imposter syndrome than other groups. Why? Likely because Asians have an internalized inferiority complex compared, where they believe whites are superior (due to white supremacy). They perceive whites by default as experts, superior, and competent, making them question their own abilities (hence the imposter syndrome).

  5. Yes, I agree! I am making a career jump at the moment from a Data Analyst position of 3 years to a Data Scientist with much more detail and responsibilities and I’m second guessing myself every way possible. But after watching your video, I feel that I can put the scariness to the side and do my best!! Thank You so much!!

  6. いつも勉強になる動画をありがとうございます!
    日本人にむけた動画(日本語で)もmayukoさんにつくっていただけたらうれしいです!
    プログラミングやエンジニアのキャリアや学び方、仕事の仕方に興味をもっている人は日本にも増えていると
    思います。

  7. Needed this so bad. My degree is getting tough and I feel like I’m just clueless, and don’t think I can do it as a career if I can’t even do it in school. Further, I wanna be a front end engineer but my school only offers one web dev elective in my CS program . Ugh, it sucks. But this helped!

  8. I have been bit by the syndrome too. My buddy on the other side of the world endured several of my late night calls, sleepily telling his share of stories to motivate me. It was like a mini-therapy and it did work!

  9. I totally agree with what you've said. After over a year in my current job there is still a lot of things I don't know. And I won't ever know everything. Am I not good enough? Nope – the project is just so big that it is not possible to know everything. I'm still learning new things everyday. Very important is to ask. If you know who to ask to get the answer straight away then it's almost as if you'd knew that.

    However, it kinda depends on the company itself. As I was looking for my first job over a year ago, I've started to question my skills or if I'm totally worthless. I've went to 20 or more interview and still nothing. It seemed to me that most companies are looking for a "junior" but with a 3+ years experience. Is it a good approach? I don't think so but what do I know.

  10. This video is exactly what I need right now! I have my first job, the first 2 days didn't feel well to me. I knew I got this syndrome but just couldn't fight it. But I feel better now. Thank you, Mayuko!

  11. Thank you. I'm not a software engineer but instead a more traditional mech. engineer. Starting my new internship I felt exactly like this and didn't know it had a name or if anyone else felt like it.

  12. Thanks Mayuko, you help me to believe in myself and that's the best gift someone can give. Regards from Mexico.

  13. Thank you so much for this video! It’s so true that imposter syndrome is something that may never go away and we have to learn to manage it.

  14. For many, imposter syndrome never really goes away, even with years of experience. I often feel it, even after more than a decade. Our field is one of the most fluid out there. A programming language we'd spent 5 or 10 years mastering may prove obsolete tomorrow. The best remedy is to keep learning and trying to accept that we won't always have immediate answers to a given proposed software solution. But we'll do our best to find them. 🙂

  15. Imposter syndrome: the result of being unwilling to show your vulnerabilities and/or deficits to others. Solution: show your vulnerabilities and/or deficits to others. KA CHINGGG

  16. Wow I really needed this. I'm a Junior QA engineer and the person who knew about my company's automation framework left. After a rollback of an application release the regression automation stopped working and I can't for the life of me figure it out. I know high level things about the framework but that's it. I've tried debugging and I honestly feel overwhelmed.

  17. You gave some really great advice about imposter syndrome. It can be such a difficult thing to overcome.

  18. I lost my internship a month ago and now I truly feel like I'm not good enough for coding. I thought about quitting and maybe finding something else to do with life. The thing is I truly did my very best there and It even cost a bit of my health since I also got sick from stress. When they laid me off I didn't understand the reason, it was really out of sudden for me. I can only think about that it was because I am a slow learner. I have ADHD and since I was sleeping less than the necessary It got even harder for me to follow up with the job. It's hard to make this feeling go away now. But I guess I can't give up just like that.

  19. You can more than manage it. You can completely overcome it. Start believing that you deserve everything you want in this life! It’s the truth. You have to BELIEVE it!

  20. I always have this I won second place on a startup contest here and I was telling me I didn't deserved it I didn't do enough someone else deserve it, or the judges felt Pity on me, Now I got a new job on databases and I think I will not survive the 2 months period besides doing my job as great as I can, thanks for this and greetings from Honduras.

  21. Kinda surprised, I thought it was just me that felt like a hack fraud sometimes.

    It's hard not to feel like a fraud and a code monkey when many people I work with can literally do everything I can but have advanced to the point in their careers where they can go to meetings all day and make "decisions" instead of doing the grunt work.

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