Nikita Phillips, BTS Candidate Support & Business Development Adviser, discusses imposter syndrome and the ways in which she has learnt to manage it whilst building her career in financial services.
By this, I mean the feeling of being a complete fraud. You spend each day at work convinced you are faking everything that you do. You feel constantly worried that soon enough, everything is going to come crashing down and people will see the real you.
As I sat down to write my first-ever suitability report, as a newly qualified paraplanner, all I could think was, how on earth have I got to this point? How have I convinced so many people that I have the knowledge and skills to be a Paraplanner? I’m not a ‘real’ Paraplanner, just a highly skilled con artist.
Well, I’d like to introduce you to my friend imposter syndrome…and when I say friend, actually, imposter syndrome is more like my nemesis.
Imposter syndrome occurs frequently in so many of us, because we cannot believe or internalise our success. We have feelings of inadequacy and this leads us to believe that we are not deserving of our achievements.
I cannot tell you the number of exams I have sat, where I have been adamant I have failed, only to come out with a pass. For me to be ‘wrong again’, has almost become an ongoing joke in my family, but this actually creates more fear. What happens if I don’t pass and everyone is expecting me too?
Even when I get my results, I still have this niggling thought in the back of my mind that the examiner has marked the wrong paper by mistake, because how could I have passed?
Imposter syndrome can present itself in many different ways:
Imposter syndrome can severely impact your career in financial services. I have turned down some amazing opportunities because, I felt undeserving of them. Over the past few years, I’ve learnt how to manage my imposter syndrome by doing the following:
Someone once told me, “The best teachers are still learning”, and it’s true. You don’t need to know everything to be good in your position and you certainly wouldn’t expect that from anyone else.
So, you are not an imposter, you are a wonderful work in progress. Thinking about it this way, will ensure that we continuously learn and develop, as we progress throughout our career.
Read another insightful article on mental health ‘The Importance of Talking about our Experiences’ to find out more about the importance of sharing your journey.
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