One definition of imposter syndrome states that individuals who struggle with this phenomenon sustains feelings of inadequacy despite the evidence of success. These individuals may also have internalized feelings of perpetual self-doubt. Because the tech industry can be very flexible in accepting employees with non traditional backgrounds, there is a significant group of people who find themselves in the tech world with little to no formal training. This is a great feat in and of itself that is often neglected. Even those who have some formal training can still feel so green as they begin their career, making it hard to trust their own instincts and abilities.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between feelings of inadequacy and not fitting in with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. It is normal to take six months to a year to adjust to a new job, especially a new career. Seventy percent of people will have some experiences of feeling like an imposter at one point or another in their life time. While some people who experience imposter syndrome see improvements over time as they find more confidence in their abilities and learn to internalize their successes, others may struggle to celebrate the achievements they make and even minimize their progress despite external validation and celebration.
Imposter syndrome is not a psychological disease, and thus, therapists may categorize these symptoms as anxiety and/or depression depending on severity. Symptoms of imposter syndrome are often found in those who are high achieving and those who pursue academia. Imposter syndrome has also been found to be a predictor of mental health and has been positively correlated with anxiety and depression. There is help out there to reduce the feelings of inadequacy, and it often starts with talking about the struggle and acknowledging its existence. A therapist can help you find the internal dialogue that is not helpful in the development of your identity and self-esteem. To find out more about tips to overcome this struggle and to hear about other’s journey, see below.
Current Research: http://www.na-businesspress.com/JHETP/ParkmanA_Web16_1_.pdf
Tips to Overcome: https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome
General Info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqhUHyVpAwE
Women in Tech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkzjWTXJFxM