If you are a mid-career professional, you have overcome challenges in your career. Some are expected, some are not! During the pandemic, many of us moved unexpectedly to virtual positions and have had to learn how to manage a remote team. When it comes to taking our career to the next level, interestingly, many times the challenges we face are internal. In fact, 9 out of 10 career coaching clients in Atlanta and beyond tell us that they are their biggest obstacle to their career advancement.

This internal challenge is called the impostor syndrome. It is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to feel that their success is simply due to luck rather than talent. A person with the impostor syndrome feels like a fraud and is unable to internalize their accomplishments. The impostor syndrome is more common than you think: 70% of all people feel like an impostor at one time or another. This causes professionals like you to hold back from applying for jobs or promotions and to do things like understate their skills or not accept compliments. If you currently feel this way, please know you are not alone! We work with professionals every day like you who are experiencing some level of the impostor syndrome or career burnout. Below are some tips for managing and working around this issue. We care and hope this is helpful to you!

Quick career tips

Interview others. Ask your friends, family, and trusted co-workers what they think you do well. You may uncover skills and strengths that you had previously overlooked or assumed everyone could do.

Adjust your communication. Avoid using minimizing expressions such as “only” or “just.” These phrases minimize your success, weaken your communication and your team’s confidence in your abilities. Make a conscience effort to eliminate these words from your vocabulary. Ask a friend or co-worker to alert you when you use these expressions.

Write down your accomplishments. We encourage our career coaching clients to keep an accomplishments document. This can include successful projects, testimonials from clients and co-workers, awards, etc. We also recommend writing down all of your successes since childhood. This can help you feel more confident. Take time each month to read through it and add new accomplishments.

The impostor syndrome won’t go away overnight, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate progress. You will need to take small and steady steps to build your confidence. Identify a current professional obstacle you are facing and think of two action steps you can implement this week to start to overcome it. The truth is that you can get to the next level and find purpose and deeper meaning for your life and career.

Let’s talk about how we can help you with your career growth. Schedule a free consult.