We’ve all heard of the term imposter syndrome. It’s the feeling of unworthiness that follows a great opportunity. The feeling of inadequacy and inexperience. But what happens when one is convinced that their imposter syndrome is justified?
I myself felt like a fraud when I first started writing this. I’m blogging about the job market, while I myself have just recently graduated college – and have very little formal professional experience. What could I offer to anyone else?
Surviving and thriving in the modern world means not silencing our inner critic, but pushing through and being creative in spite of these feelings. We can even channel our doubts into something healthy with a little practice. With all of that in mind, here are tangible ways to make up for your inexperience and stand out amongst your peers.
Show Up and Be On Time (Show Your Interest)
To put it simply, employers want attentive and engaged employees. By being punctual, ready to work, and demonstrating that you care, you show your bosses, coworkers, and even interviewers that you are worthy of a position, in spite of any inexperience that may be holding you back at first.
Always Be Courteous
This is an extension of the first point – and an obvious one – but let me expand. By being respectful and following the rules of professional etiquette, you make yourself a better candidate. This one also applies to emails and official correspondences. Writing professionally – beginning and ending with a greeting, checking spelling and punctuation – shows that you care enough to do all aspects of your job to the best of your ability. The key here is extending that courtesy to yourself, which leads me to my next point.
Use Your Self-Awareness as an Advantage (Channel It into Working on Yourself)
The key here is to find the balance between growth and self-awareness without criticizing yourself too harshly. Remember, you’re new at all of this, you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s ok. Minor mistakes allow for reflection. The key is to see them as teachable moments.
Don’t Let Problems Snowball
Lastly, if you are having a problem that you can’t handle by yourself, let someone know as soon as possible. While you may feel embarrassed at first, it is important to stop a small problem from becoming a big one.
The Bottom Line
Is your imposter syndrome justified? Possibly. But if you put in the effort to show your worth to employers – and by extension, yourself – it won’t matter. By taking steps to learn and improve, the “imposter” within you will begin to shrink and disappear.
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