Faking it: Anyone else feel like an imposter at work?
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In an industry that values fresh thinking, I'm an imposter.
In meetings I can hear valuable nuggets of information coming out of my mouth but "IMPOSTER!" in my head. I wonder: if what I say is a mash‐up of other people's opinions, can I really claim it as my own?
Every morning, I read before work.
My morning routine goes like this: alarm goes off and I check my phone. Before I'm out of bed, showered and dressed, I catch up on the list of emails waiting with the latest industry news. One or two of the most interesting are read. Some I flag for my twenty-minute ride to work. The rest are deleted. By 9am , someone else's thinking has been prioritised ahead of my own.
"You are what you reference," one of my lecturers once said during class. This has stuck with me. It infers that what you read is a sign of the company you keep or would like to keep. Now though, I think of the same line in a more disturbing way.
Continually referencing other people's opinions may imply that I have none myself.
Yes we learn by absorbing the things around us, interpreting them to develop our own opinions. But my ratio of absorption versus free thinking is out of whack. No original thought stands a chance if my head is only filled with those other than my own. Especially if it's opinions shared and read by everybody else.
I need more time to think.
Are you in the early stages of your career and feeling the same way?