Hands up if you’ve ever been sitting at work, in a meeting, chairing a meeting thinking ‘shit, any moment now they’re going to figure out I don’t really know what I’m talking about.’ Or ‘why are they listening to me, I’m sure they all know more about this than I do’…
In the biz we call it Imposter Syndrome, and almost everyone has it at some time or another – even the ‘confident’ extroverts.
I had a client with a really bad case of this. She hadn’t really studied Marketing, but had found herself in a Marketing role and had a constant feeling that she was going to get ‘found out’.
It went something, like this:
- How long have you been in this role?
- 10 years.
- How many times have you been promoted?
- What was the feedback at your latest review?
- Exceeding expectations.
So, multiple choice – please choose the most likely scenario:
- Everyone else in the marketing departments knows NOTHING about marketing
- Everyone else in the team is intellectually challenged
- You’ve got 10 years experience in marketing under your belt and your seniors and peers think you’re great at your job
- You actually are really good at your job
- All of the above
The fact is, if you’re being promoted the chances are you’re really good at your job, or you’re playing the game really well. Potentially both.
But if you’re really unsure – ask. Ask your boss, ask your peers, ask your friends. What am I good at? What could I do better? Don’t wait for review time; it can be over a coffee or in an email with 2 bullet points. Ask people you trust, and ask them to be honest. This doesn’t mean them playing devil’s advocate and looking for things to improve, it’s future focused and aimed at either setting your fears at rest or confirming them. Scary either way huh?
So until further notice, or someone you trust tells you otherwise, you’re good at your job. Some of you are great. Some of you could be better. Some of you are in the wrong role.
Have a think – is this feeling coming from a lack of confidence or a lack of passion for the role?
If it’s lack of confidence, get some. Become a thought leader, learn more, do/request some self-development opportunities, create a personal brand, write more, speak more…
If it’s a lack of passion, what do you want to do? What would you feel like an expert in? How? Why?
Either way, what do you want to achieve this week, this month, this year to make you feel happy and confident in your role?
5 maximum for each.
If you achieve them, tell people and celebrate your achievements.
You don’t’ have to be the best [insert title here] in the country; you need to be the best version of [insert title here] that you can be. Be the most passionate, and figure out your USP – what do you bring to the role that others don’t?
- Having a Retail background in a Sales role, what are the benefits of this?
- Being a Creative when you started out as a suit, likewise.
- Or are you great at networking, mentoring, analyzing – what makes you a different [insert title here] to the person next to you.
Then OWN IT!
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