Do you feel like an impostor in your place of work?

Impostor syndrome is rife in the workplace. 70% of people will experience it at some point during their working life.

Impostor syndrome arises from the feelings of inadequacy and uselessness an individual feels when they believe they aren’t good enough or well unqualified for a certain task.  This can lead employees to feel like a ‘fraud’ in the workplace, which can be incredibly demotivating.

Impostor syndrome largely affects five types of people:

  • Those who believe they should know everything there is to know about a task before attempting it, and feel ashamed when they don’t
  • Those who set impossibly high standards for themselves and beat themselves up when they fail to meet them
  • Those who aim/expect to excel at every task they take on
  • Those who believe work must be completed alone and will refuse to take any credit for collaborative work
  • Those who believe that every task should be handled with ease and, if not, that means you are inadequate for the task.

Unfortunately, many of these thought processes are at odds with the modern world of work and business, so people who find themselves stuck in these ways of thinking will often find themselves anxious, depressed, and demotivated.

So, what can be done about it?

Inclusivity fosters feelings of belonging which, in turn, dulls feelings of inadequacy. The first step a company can make to mitigate feelings of impostor syndrome is to be more involved with employees by giving them feedback and scheduling reviews so they can set their own tangible targets for development. Since many people working in a highly technical workplaces often feel they are expected to know every facet of their work from day one, it can help for supervisors to let them know that knowledge of the role develops over time, and to offer them a strategy to achieve this.

Leading by example and not by oppression can also go a long way to helping people feel part of the workplace. If people can see their boss as an example of how to be successful, and understand how they go to their position, this will inspire them to achieve the same, realising it is a possibility.

Similar to my last blog post on trust in the workplace ‘The love drug is at the core of business success’, the message here is to keep an eye on the mental health and well being of your employees. Employees that feel they’re making a difference in their workplace are more likely to work harder and, therefore, are more likely to bring your business success.

Here at Polestar, we do everything we can to make sure our clients, and where appropriate their team, feel comfortable and informed about every aspect of their transaction so they don’t feel they’re being left out of the process, of course we miss the target sometimes, but aim to quickly rectify that.  After all all deals rely on Trust and security.

More than half of employees at Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google report that they
sometimes feel they don’t deserve their job despite their accomplishments, according to a Blind

By Rebecca Garland on 30/07/2019