Day# 133: Working on my feelings of imposter syndrome, part 1

Day# 133: Working on my feelings of imposter syndrome, part 1

I try and be as honest as possible with this blog, wanting to give some of my own experiences which hopefully helps others see that it is not only them struggling with these issues. Today I want to talk about my impostor syndrome, for those that don’t know I was fired from my first design job. It was straight out of college and I was making too many mistakes at a small agency which did not have a QA team, in retrospect I understand that I was just not ready for the working world. I did work late on a number of occasions trying to prove my worth,  but I was making mistakes and I had no structured process in place from preventing mistakes from happening. Getting fired really took a knock to my self confidence in the design industry and when I got my next job and a few jobs after that I became paranoid about being fired, I would over work and never say no to a task.

Enter the Impostor syndrome, I worried that because I had failed at my original design job that I was not cut out for industry, I constantly felt like I needed to work at being better in the work environment and often worked through my lunch. Even though I had studied design I constantly worried that people would figure out that I was tainted by a previous dismissal, I suppose it’s like a bad break up that leaves you a little scarred and sensitive about the whole ordeal.Anyway with time and positive role models and friendships I started to feel confident as a designer, I even taught design for a while, however the Impostor syndrome managed to catch up to me again when I entered the UX field…

 

So how does this relate to UX, well I grew up being told that a degree made you successful and competent in your job, fast forward to current day and I am basically working in a field with no tertiary qualification. I have worked extremely hard to learn all the skills of a UX practitioner, doing countless online courses and working on this blog has also taught me a lot. However sometimes I still question my skill set, the sad part is sometimes you will find people who actually have a qualification in something and don’t keep up to date or know what they should. The other thing that will fuel the impostor syndrome is other people, people don’t want to hear that others can do something quicker/easier than they did. Those who studied feel as if it is a right of passage or a prerequisite, this not me saying that qualifications don’t mean anything. I am only saying that people who have not studied, should not feel intimidated by individuals who tell them that you can only do something with 5 or more years of study, yes there are industries that it is a prerequisite but in the tech space, we are seeing now more than ever that self taught individuals can really thrive if they put their mind into it. Finally relating to those who choose to talk down to people trying to learn something JUST DON’T! Talking about what you know will help your verbal dialogue in your profession as well as that person is really not your direct competition in the job market. It really shows maturity and confidence to be able to help and mentor others and not everyone will have the opportunity to go to university.

I really am looking forward to having a changed culture around this and to people struggling with impostor syndrome here is my advise

 

  • When you notice your inner voice doubting yourself, think about how you are speaking to yourself
  • Think about all the effort and time you are dedicating to becoming good at your craft whatever that is and remember that.
  • Do not stress about mistakes but work towards not making the same mistakes again
  • Instead of focusing on possible nervousness in the situation think of the task at hand and try take the day task by task, day by day, week by week. I have done it before and it has really helped me feel more confident and organised in the long run…

The topic of impostor syndrome has a lot of variable that relate to the outcome, and because of this I will be coming back to impostor syndrome in my next post, happy researching until next time Uxers

Bye for now!

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