Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon where professionals don’t feel qualified for their positions, and that one day they will be found out.
This feeling of inadequacy has long plagued the global workforce, but the pandemic has exacerbated the issue in a few ways.
For starters, a remote work environment can amplify feelings of insecurity. Without relying on in-person social cues and instant feedback, it can be easy to second-guess one’s abilities at work.
Similarly, a distributed workforce makes it more difficult for managers to spot and address feelings of imposter syndrome. But this experience is more common than not, with research from the International Journal of Behavioral Science finding that 70% of people have dealt with imposter syndrome.
So what can employees do to reassure themselves that their work is valuable? Likewise, how can leaders better identify the signs of imposter syndrome?
One of the best ways to create a feeling of camaraderie and understanding at work is to simply be transparent. If a worker shares their struggles with imposter syndrome, other employees are more likely to express their own experiences.
For managers trying to identify workers struggling with this challenge, take note of how employees refer to their own work. Are they self-deprecating? Are they contributing less than usual? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, it might be time to set up a one-on-one meeting.