Let’s Talk About Impostor Syndrome
I want to take this opportunity to talk about Impostor Syndrome, something that plagues under-represented people in the workplace, especially tech.
First: What IS impostor syndrome? According to Wikipedia-
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
As a Latino, I have always been a minority in “math”-letics, choir, college visits, undergrad, grad school (both times), teaching and tech. Being under-represented almost all of your life is not fun. I am constantly having to remind myself that I know what I’m doing and not letting circumstances mess with my confidence. But, that’s not always easy. There have definitely been instances where I was surrounded by kids who went to private school, payed for private tutors/voice coaches, had parents who both went to college and could help them with their homework their whole life, didn’t have to work in high school and could spend their time studying and developed better study habits than I had and all of those differences stand out, especially when the majority of students are different from you.
This has caused me to doubt and feel like I was less able than those around me. It wasn’t until I started noticing that I knew as much, if not, more than my peers that I started to have some swag in my step (academic step, that is). For all my people who deal with impostor syndrome, just remember that you were hired because you are talented. You were accepted into your program, because you can do the work. Not only can you do the work, but you can do it better than most people in your position. Stay confident and stay humble.
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Thanks, and much love, Raf & Leah.