How To Own Your Skills When You’re Struggling With Impostor Syndrome

What do you uniquely bring to the job?

It’s a question has tripped me up on more interviews than I care to admit. It’s a question that stumps me on writing grants, in interviews and applications.

What do you uniquely bring to the job?

Uhh. I mean, I went to school, so technically I have the paper qualifications. I’ve worked. I want to be here. I want the job. I think I’m good at what I do. I have passion. I have vision. I say these things in my head, but somehow, when I open my mouth, I sound like the most unqualified person on the planet. Does that happen to you, too?

I wish I could pinpoint where or why it all goes awry.

I know I’m getting better at it as I age.

But the more and more I think about it, the more and more I think it’s because somewhere, somehow, I picked up a case of impostor syndrome. Somewhere, somehow, I decided that the work and the skills that I have were not enough. I decided that they were not good enough, were not enough experience, were not enough of whatever the employer wanted.

And it’s so silly.

But it’s an easy trap to fall into — to place the worth of your being and your skills in the hands of another.

Remember to remind yourself of all that you’ve done. Remember that it’s okay to brag about your accomplishments, that’s okay to show your passion and excitement for the position, and that there’s nothing wrong with owning your skills.

What do you uniquely bring to the job?

It shouldn’t be a hard question to answer. Practice saying the words. Let yourself hear them spoken aloud. Own your skills — you’ve worked hard.

Sometimes you’ll go on an interview and you’ll be the perfect candidate for the job. And then they will hire you, and you will get the job, and you’ll celebrate. Maybe you’ll toast with your loved ones when you get home. Maybe you’ll just toast with yourself. Maybe it’s not about a toast, but instead, you’ll sleep a bit easier knowing that you don’t have to worry about how to pay the stack of bills on your table. Maybe you’ll no longer have a pit in your stomach and a nagging feeling that you don’t fit in this world, in this workspace, and that you’ve made a terrible choice in picking a career — and that will be a celebrated relief.

Sometimes, you’ll go on an interview and you’ll be the perfect candidate for the job. And then you still don’t get the position or the deal or the work. And it’s not because there’s some crazy conspiracy or because the world is out to get you. It’s just because sometimes, we don’t always get the job. In a perfect world, you’d get feedback. An explanation. A reason as to why. Usually, that doesn’t happen. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t fit in this world; it doesn’t mean that you’ve made a terrible choice in picking a career.

It just means you didn’t get the job.

So you’ll try again.

And you’ll own your skills. TC mark

About the author
I hate styling my hair. Follow Megan on Instagram or read more articles from Megan on Thought Catalog.

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