Ever feel like you’re out of your depth as a new developer, or you don’t belong as a coding bootcamp student? Chances are you’re experiencing impostor syndrome – the feeling that you’re a fraud despite your accomplishments. Studies show that an estimated 70% of people will experience impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. This is especially true of bootcamp grads who are seeking tech jobs after a few short months of training, and even more so for female developers who are outnumbered in the male-dominated tech world – women currently hold only 25% of computing jobs.
Here at Flatiron School, we love to facilitate dialogue on these issues to help students feel more at home in the tech community. Recently, we hosted Werk Co-Founder and Co-CEO Anna Auerbach, who gave a fascinating talk on impostor Syndrome, “FYI, You’re Not a Fraud,” which addressed how she overcame it in her career and actionable tips for your own career.
Below, you’ll find Anna’s checklist for overcoming impostor Syndrome (and a video so you can see the whole talk!):
1. Knowing is half the battle.
Those feelings of not fitting in in tech? It’s much easier to combat them once you know that what you’re dealing with is a real condition.
2. Embrace positive feedback and celebrate wins.
Don’t focus on the negatives. When you get good feedback, make sure you actually take the time to celebrate it rather than forging onto the next task. Let it give you the confidence boost that you’ve earned!
3. Differentiate feelings from facts.
When you’re feeling the effects of Impostor Syndrome, take a step back for a moment. Are the things that are racing through your mind your feelings, or are they facts? If you can separate them, it’s likely that you’ll see you’re actually doing things quite well.
4. Even “non frauds” make mistakes.
Don’t let mistakes justify your feelings of being an impostor. Everyone makes mistakes—from junior developers to CEOs – and you aren’t immune to that.
5. Separate yourself from “Me, Inc.”
The way you do your job, good or bad, does not define who you are as a person. Feelings of impostor syndrome can be exacerbated if you consider every little professional mistake or misstep you make as evidence you that you’re stupid or a bad person.
6. Remember that you aren’t under a microscope.
Everyone’s work is important, but it’s important to remember that no one is scrutinizing your work as closely as you are.
7. Oh, and everyone thinks they’re a fraud, too.
Everyone feels impostor Syndrome from time to time. Some people are just better at hiding it.
Are you a women looking to break into tech? Flatiron School has partnered with Birchbox to launch our new Women Take Tech initiative – a scholarship fund for future female developers. Click here to apply for a 50% scholarship to our Online Web Developer Program, cutting your tuition in half ($750/month).
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