GUEST CREATOR: Carmina Muntean
How I Overcame Imposter Syndrome As A Newbie In My Field
If you are at the beginning of your career or even if you already have some experience in your field, chances are you struggled with Imposter Syndrome. Trust me, I feel you in this.
This feeling of self-doubt, of not deserving to be where you are, or of not being “enough” can eat you from the inside out unless you deal with it. (What is “enough”, anyway?)
Starting out as a junior digital marketer (with little to no experience in this field), I felt so many times like I did not belong in this life. Fast forward one year and a few months, and I am running my own business in copywriting (say whaaat). Getting the constructive feedback, you need to evolve certainly helps, although I would say that after a while you realise how all of us are just nailing it (most of the time).
After you get to see first-hand that all professionals around you are affected by the very same issues as you, the Imposter Syndrome loses its strength up to some level. I am not going to lie, good feedback from your co-workers or clients also helps, and adequate financial compensation does wonders for one’s attitude and mindset.
After all, when you are being rewarded for your work the way you need to be, your confidence grows and insecurities diminish.
That is not to say I do not struggle with Imposter Syndrome anymore. I am still a newbie in this field, and there are many better copywriters than I am. Or people who work for less than I do. But I keep telling myself that by knowing my place, I accept there is space for growth. And oh man, do I want to grow!
And you know what? Only people who accept they could improve are the ones who actually do.
Imposter Syndrome does not pass overnight, but I choose not to be my first enemy. I am my biggest supporter, and you should be yours, too.
So yeah, here are some tips that I would have needed when starting out regarding the Impostor Syndrome (and that nobody gave me):
It could be of great help to know what you are capable of so that you can easily remind yourself of your abilities and trust in them when your hopes fail to do so.
You need to remember that neither companies nor personal clients are charities, and they would not keep collaborating with you if they did not see your true value.
Whether we speak of long-term achievements or daily tasks, keeping a list of every way you contribute to your job can be of tremendous help.
Even if it seems like you are not doing enough, when you see all of the things you do on a daily can make you feel like your work matters.
Something I heard from a kind person a long time ago, and that has helped me many times since, goes like this: “A haystack is made of every single hay straw, so don’t doubt that every small effort of yours contributes to something great.”
Feeling like an imposter in your area gets more overwhelming depending on whom you are comparing yourself to. And even though it’s easier said than done, try not to compare yourself with anyone else around you.
Each one of us is a complex being with different lives and opportunities, and for each one of us, the next step (in our careers and lives) looks different. Your journey is only yours, and not one person has ever been nor will ever be in your shoes.
Remember that and stay kind to yourself.
If you do choose to get inspired and look up to certain people, make sure that you do not invalidate your skills, time, and efforts while doing so.
It is very important to be able to distinguish between the people who are actually more advanced than you (and hey, that’s great news) and those who sell their skills better than you. When meeting professionals who you feel you could learn from, take advantage and ask for a tip or two.
When you meet people who are good at selling their skills, take notes and do the same for yourself.
Self-confidence is actually the key to assuring the person in front of you that you know what you are doing. At the end of the day, everyone who is at the same stage as you or well ahead has started by taking the first step. And often enough, people just become more comfortable and more powerful in their roles.
With experience comes expertise, and with expertise comes courage, so rest assured that in time you will feel more in control of yourself and your skills.
- Your effort is not less worthy than someone else’s effort.
- It’s good to be surrounded by people who know more than you. (Never act like the smartest in the room, so you can always learn and improve)
- “Being enough” is not what you want to be for anyone else. You need to fulfill your inner need to evolve and no one else’s.
- Change is good, so if you continue feeling like an imposter regardless of what you do, maybe it’s time to change something. Your environment, occupation or people you surround yourself with,
We are all worthy, beautiful beings, and although our jobs can mean a lot to us, we are not defined by them.
Until next time,
JOCstudio’s note. With the guest creators’ series on our website, we hope to build a safe space for creatives to share their very personal experiences in the professional environment. Let’s talk about mental health, inclusivity, diversity, and equity. How’s your workplace culture doing?