Overcoming “Imposter Syndrome”

I noticed many years ago I have full on interviews in my head. No, not the applying for a job interviews like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” but as if I am being interviewed on television, by a television host, in front of fans. I often answer the question of “how did you get to this point?” or “what inspired you?” type of thing. If I am being completely honest, I’ve never “finished” the interview.

I am still in the “what do I want to be when I grow up” and I am now in my 30s. The reason for those interview questions is in hopes it will inspire me to come up with an idea or motivate me to start the idea I had a few weeks ago. It’s an endless cycle because what I deal with is “imposter syndrome.”

After college I moved to a different city to find a well-paid salary position just to end up working at a restaurant, yet again. Months go by and I had to make a change, so I went onto a very low hourly wage supervisor position for a year. Finally, the day I interviewed for a marketing coordinator position I truly felt I was starting a long and lucrative career since I majored in marketing. However, I questioned whether I could perform up to standards when I really didn’t know what a real marketing coordinator did.

Soon I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. With the hurdle of the HR Director as my manager, the tasks I did for the company were random and seemed elementary. The company had little marketing to begin with so I did anything and everything that would be considered under the umbrella of marketing. This meant my tasks ranged from taking photos for the website, as well as photoshopping them, to planning the company Christmas party. I discovered quickly I wore too many hats and wasn’t being compensated fairly and in addition, I was asked too often what I did all day long. This broke me thinking my position was just made up.

Working for a company that didn’t know what they wanted out of the position or how they wanted their marketing to happen, caused more problems than necessary. Here I am, somewhat, fresh out of college thinking I know marketing but in fact I had to learn everything on the job and be proactive to teach myself (which I understand is the learning curve) but I wanted to learn from someone and know exactly what a true marketing manager did. From that day on, I noticed every job I took I questioned whether I would know what I was doing, if I would feel valued, and would I be able to get real life experience to one day call myself an expert in a particular category.

It has taken me years to finally discover this one thing: I’ve been searching for this mythical manager or someone to guide me to be an expert ever since that marketing position. I found myself seeking, mainly on the internet, someone to tell me what to do and how to do it. Then I would find those on blogging, or even YouTube, telling the world they make $10,000 doing whatever they do, with a course on how to do it. Score! You can bet your bottom dollar I read and listened to every single word. However, when done reading or listening I left with more questions, just like that marketing position! Although they have the best intentions of grabbing your attention to read their article, it seems they forget the smaller of details of the beginning of their journey and the number of years it took to get there. To me, and how they, at times, portray it, it was an overnight success or happened quite rapidly without them even noticing.

Since my marketing coordinator days, I’ve had various jobs that didn’t relate to marketing at all. The reason I didn’t further pursue that career is I really didn’t know how to define what direction of marketing I wanted to take or was I forever going to be a “kind of know” of multiple things. I wasn’t an expert in anything. Did I want to edit websites, be a photographer, or an event planner because I was expected to do it all at multiple jobs in my life.

Fast forward, I am now at a job that a high schooler can do, an assistant, and I discovered I enjoy writing due to the books, writings of others and the interviews in my head. I enjoy a good story and often want to feel inspired through reading the different blogs available. What I can finally say is I have always wanted to inspire, help find people’s passion, and provide a story someone can enjoy and/or relate to. Therefore, after multiple “just start” bloggers I finally did it! I took advice and submitted a proposal on Upwork. Because how do you become an expert of something if you never try the very thing you want to do. This gig is nothing fancy and to an experienced writer this gig could possibly be pointless or even a sham. Or maybe I just bit off more than I can chew. The moment I received the acceptance I suffered from the “imposter syndrome” yet again because this writing job would be writing a guide as an expert in a particular topic. Who am I to think I can write a how to guide and not only provide true meaning behind the topic but how will I put it together into real words, with proper grammar? I can actually say I am an expert in being a bridesmaid, therefore, write what you know and tell people “how to” do it.

This could be my start to the journey. The answer to the question “how did you get started”. Like the advice I finally took and those needing a sign — JUST START!!

Stay tuned for how this journey goes. It might be an epic failure but what if this is just the beginning.