Alex Jeannite is a 2020 FSU Tech Fellows who is interning at Tampa Bay Wave.
My research project focuses on Imposter Syndrome and how it affects those in the tech industry. In general, imposter syndrome is defined as he persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills. So far I’ve interviewed two different people about their experience dealing with it. The interviews were an enlightening process because not only do other people experience this phenomenon but it also affects people in different ways! For example, I asked one of my research participants if they could physically describe the feeling of being an imposter, he stated that it felt like the position he earned was not by his own merit and described it as a foreboding yet intense figure
It wasn’t something he could see but it did feel as if it was something consuming him and his ability to work. I found this interesting because it was quite different from the other participant, who described a bog of sorts, a dark pit that slowly envelops you over time. I knew that people were afflicted by imposter syndrome in different ways but I still personally found it interesting how these two individuals imagine that feeling of being an imposter in their positions of work.
Something that I learned from this experience was a way to not necessarily handle but to help alleviate the pressure of imposter syndrome is to write yourself a letter of all your accomplishments and the person that you currently are at the moment, followed by the type of person that you want to become. You can read this letter whenever you are questioning your position and use it as a focus point or anchor to keep you grounded when you lose focus of yourself and goals.
I suppose another thing to mention that I found interesting during my two interviews, is the manner in which each participant dealt with overcoming their imposter syndrome. For instance, one participant stated that he would wait the feeling out because it would typically only occur when he felt like he was given task outside of his scope of work. The other was actually a bit more active and sought to either do some of his hobbies to take his mind off of the issue or try his best to determine what caused the trigger and if he can solve the problem then this helps him quite a bit.
I look forward to interviewing many more and look forward to more intriguing results!