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Feeling like you don’t belong completely sucks. Everyone’s felt it one way or another. But the workplace fraud trap can be a completely different beast, with seemingly more at stake. You may have just received a promotion (congrats!), or started a job in a new industry (how exciting!). Whatever your story, you’re likely reading this because you’re feeling in over your head and have been taken hostage by what’s commonly referred to as the Impostor Syndrome.

My impostor journey started when I landed a job as a Marketing Assistant after only a few months of helping the company’s marketing team with some event coordination. The excitement of starting this new position was amazing. I had a new team to bond with. My new boss was ace. The start of a new chapter, I thought. But fear replaced excitement in only a matter of weeks, and I started questioning everything. What the hell am I doing? I quite literally have NO IDEA what marketing even does. Am I a Marketer? Marketing is like advertising, right? What’s a business case? What do they mean by “sponsorship opportunities”? WRITE A WHOLE NEWSLETTER? Honestly it was tragic.

But hang on… I’d been hired with ZERO marketing experience. That must count for something, right? They must see some potential in me, even if I don’t see it just yet. I had to change my mindset, if I was going to really flourish. For me, making small changes in my approach made all the difference long term. So I’ve put together a list of 6 tips to help you stop feeling like an impostor and start feeling like a valuable piece of the puzzle.

  1. You’re in. Enjoy the ride!

One of the easiest things to forget but probably the most important is – you are the chosen one! That means that you’ve got the goods and are better suited than your competition! Accept that you’re already there, and focus on enjoying the ride!

  1. Let go of perfection

For the first year or so at work I struggled with balancing perfection with delivery. I thought everything I produced had to be “perfect”, “A+”, like at school. I thought “perfect work” would compensate for the lack of experience. It took me a while to get my head around the fact, that nothing can be 100% “perfect”. You will make mistakes. That’s how you learn. It’s natural, so don’t sweat it. Do your best, then let go and move on.

  1. Fake it ’til you become it

The ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ concept gets thrown around like confetti. I couldn’t understand it at first. How would ‘faking it’ ever make my job easier? Then I watched a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy  , and the penny dropped. What Amy talks about is how tiny tweaks in your own behaviour can lead to big changes. Don’t ignore your gut feelings, they’re your gut feelings for a reason.Train yourself to stand up straight, put a smile on your dial, and speak with confidence. It always seems impossible until you do it, but believe me, it pays off!

  1. Own your skills and talents 

Write down all the things you’re awesome at. Perhaps you’re great at design? Or have a knack for communications? Maybe you’re an awesome problem solver? You’d be surprised how writing things down puts your talents in perspective. Own your skills and unleash your inner expert! You’ve got this!

  1. Never stop learning

Today we’re spoiled by all the available free information online to keep up to date with industry news, trends and advice. Read e-books and listen to podcasts by influencers and experts. Check out popular industry blogs. Search tutorials on YouTube. Check out relevant free seminars and workshops in your area. Use the connections and info available to help you feel part of your industry and community.

  1. Get social and broaden your network

It always felt to me that everyone else had it all mapped out, and I’m just standing there, clueless. Going to industry mixers, seminars and workshops helped me enormously. Everyone I met, even the most successful entrepreneurs, seemed to be in the same boat. We all have doubts and fears about what we’re doing with our life and career. Surrounding yourself with passionate people will help you work out what you want to do in life and career, so put yourself out there. 

Have you ever felt like a fraud? Share with us your tips to overcome Impostor Syndrome.



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