Lifestyle Opinion

Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Get You Down

Everything that you are going through, every rejection you receive, every interview you don’t get: it is all in order to set you up for greatness.

Job searching is scressful, bruh. Holla if you hear me.

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From updating resumes to writing cover letters to hitting send on the applications to praying for/prepping for/giving interviews to waiting for feedback to getting hit with that, “Thank for applying, however…” email to repeating the process over and over and over again… I am ready to take a nap just thinking about it. Add to all of that the fraudulent feelings that come with imposter syndrome, and you have a definite recipe for disaster. Although my search is over now (hallelujah, THANK YA!), there were a few things that made this job search particularly difficult for me:

1). This was only my second search for a full-time job.

Yes, I just turned 30 and will be starting my second full-time job in a couple of weeks. Because #life and other things, I didn’t start my first grown-up job until I was 27 (now remember: judge not, lest ye be judged, people).

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Additionally, I was offered that job less than five minutes after I walked out of the interview room, so I didn’t even get a chance to overanalyze my performance and drive home drenched in nervous sweat and anxiety. I don’t tell you all this to brag; on the contrary, it was detrimental to my most recent search, seeing as I had to wait almost ten days for the verbal offer from my new position. Had me out here like Ginuwine.

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2). My daughter and I just relocated from southeast Arkansas to central Arkansas.

Certainly, there are many more opportunities here for the both of us, but with opportunity comes competition, and with competition comes that beloved number three…

3.) Imposter Syndrome.

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While I struggle with fraudulent feelings on a daily basis, it was exacerbated to the billionth degree during this job search. Part of this was due to me searching for both teaching and non-teaching opportunities. Like, how dare I seek a full-time position in a field other than my first full-time position? Sure, my B.A. is in Journalism with emphasis in Ad/P.R., but that was almost a decade ago. Girl, do you even remember what “P.R.” stands for? Ok, your concentration in graduate school was Higher Education and Student Affairs, but 1) you didn’t technically graduate, and 2) you’ve been dealing with teenagers for the past three years. What makes you think you can just switch back to working with college students?

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Whew… Imposter Syndrome is exhausting. Job searching is exhausting. Adjusting to a new city is exhausting. However, I came out on the other side of it with a job that I truly feel is tailor made for me (although my anxiety keeps telling me to wait for an email saying “LOL JK WE DON’T WANT YOU”…smh), and I want to leave you all with some of the encouragement that helped me throughout this process.

1). You know what you know.

Imposter Syndrome told me that I couldn’t be anything but a high school teacher because that was my only full-time experience. My resume told me that my experience with Higher Education and Ad/P.R. may not have been full-time, but that didn’t make it any less relevant to my knowledge and skill set. Focus on what you know and what you are capable of, not job titles or what people may think you know.

2). Confidence is KEY.

During the second round interview for my new job, I did my best to exude confidence. I titled my presentation “Why I am the Future [Insert Name of Position Here]” and proceeded to tell my audience that, although my title was audacious, they would agree with me by the time I was done. Apparently, I was right. I spoke my hiring into position, and I showed the confidence that I felt in knowing how right the position was for me, instead of shrinking from my greatness or underplaying my experience.

I also performed a one-woman skit during said presentation. Part of me still doesn’t know whether I was on the brink of insanity or struck by genius when I decided to do that. Probably both. Either way:

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3). What is for you is FOR YOU.

During my job searching process, I interviewed for a position that I thought was “the one.” The description fit my skill set, and my interview went extremely well, so I spent two days hoping and praying for a call with a verbal offer. Instead, I got hit with that “Thank you for applying…” email. I was upset, but I kept applying and interviewing, and in a couple of weeks, I will start working in a position that is truly “the one.”

My anxiety nearly took over after just under two months of searching, so I cannot imagine those out there who have been searching for more months, or even years. All I can say is, what is for you is FOR YOU. Everything that you are going through, every rejection you receive, every interview you don’t get: it is all in order to set you up for greatness. It may take a while (or not), but your time is coming. Believe it, receive it. And, if all else fails, just remember:

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And by “bastardes,” I mean Imposter Syndrome. 😉

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