When does imposter syndrome go away?

3.6k views4 Upvotes12 Comments

Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
The day after retirement. It keeps you continuously learning. Good luck with your treatment until retirement
3 2 Replies
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Lol. You think so Chris? How do you deal with it or how have you seen colleagues do so as well?

Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

20% Joking, 80% serious.  I personally have always tried to continuously learn.  Sometimes it was just via reading trade papers, InfoWorld, PCWorld, DB World ....  Other times attending biased Gartner conferences ;)     But it was also formal training.  I got my PMP Certification as a Director, not because I was going to change paths and be a PM.  I got it to ensure I understood the PM's perspective, and communicate to them in their terms about how their schedule needed to reflect technical issues, labor supply issues, compliance issues.   I got my ITIL certifications along the way too, and it wasn't to run a service desk.  It was to ensure I could communicate to the part of IT that was strongly embracing ITIL.   My most formal continuous learning was my Masters from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern.   If you don't like to continuously learn, you probably shouldn't be in I.T.   Its probably the most rapidly changing career choice.   

The most successful leaders I knew, and role  models I had were all continuously learning, formally or informally.   The leaders I had the least respect for declared their ignorance, and refused to learn.  In some companies you can be an choose not to learn, but I would rather be at a continually learning environment.

A bit of imposter syndrome should keep you on your toes and learning.  If you think you know it all, you are probably on a short career path.

CTO in Finance (non-banking), 11 - 50 employees
Impostor syndrome is best transformed to a quiet coincidence and humility. It is a matter of changing how you see yourself. It’s not about having all the answers but about (1) having a foundation, (2) being open to learning, (3) taking ownership of challenges, and (4) having the commitment to see things through. When you accept this as part of your identity, you are confident in your ability to deliver and humble in that your confidence is built in a willingness to rise to the occasion through learning and growth.
Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
It never should. Gives an opportunity to continually learn and grow. If you feel really confident about the role you are currently doing, then it is time to move on to a bigger and better challenge.
CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Embrace it to a degree. I am more concerned with those that don’t believe in imposter syndrome. Random self-doubt means you acknowledge you don’t know everything. And that’s a great thing.
Former Chief Technology and People Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Never to some extent. It is always a voice in the back of your head. You have to quiet the voices in your head and own your superpowers! No one has all the answers or is ever really ready. Take risks.
CTO in Software, 10,001+ employees
Its something I feel on a regular basis and it can be hard to cope with.  

Surrounding myself with facts and constantly reinforcing the value I bring is the best coping mechanism I have found
Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I just listened to a great podcast with Adam Grant who touched on the fact that Imposter Syndrome could be a good thing.  This is based on the premise that it acts as a motivator and prevents complacency.
2 1 Reply
Director of IT in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Would that be the interview on the Brene Brown podcast? Dare to Lead is an amazing series, such honest conversations.

Director of Information Security in Energy and Utilities, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
I'd venture to say that it never really goes away if you are in IT/Security space. The technologies are always changing and evolving and you always feel like you are a step behind because someone else is already running whatever latest/greatest shiny product. Best way to deal with it has been reading for me personally and trying to understand how new technology functions/operates at least a high level.
CTO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
Much of the anxiety can be remedied by being honest towards yourself and your colleagues by just stating "I don't know" when you don't.
Faking it is what makes you an impostor and potentially keep you in a bad loop of building up more and more sand-castles.
Channel the energy of wanting to match your colleagues knowledge into something positive and keep competitive.

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