Building Confidence for the Leap: Navigating Impostor Syndrome in Your Final Year at University

February 19, 2024

Starting a new job can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. The thrill of new challenges and opportunities often comes together with a lurking fear known as Impostor Syndrome. This psychological phenomenon makes individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as frauds. Overcoming Impostor Syndrome is crucial for building confidence in your new work environment. As a student about to graduate, implementing some of the below practical tips could help conquer imposter syndrome in your new workplace.

Understanding Impostor Syndrome:

Impostor Syndrome is not exclusive to newcomers; even seasoned professionals can grapple with it. The first step in overcoming it is to recognise and understand this phenomenon. Acknowledge that feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt are common, especially in a new work environment. It’s essential to realise that everyone, including your colleagues and managers, has experienced these emotions at some point in their careers.

Celebrate Your Achievements:

Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments. Whether it’s acing a challenging project, earning a degree, or gaining relevant experience, remind yourself of the skills and expertise that brought you to this new opportunity. At PRG, we want to recognise everyone for the efforts they put in, which is why we set KPI’s to allow everyone to reach their next promotion. In addition, we hold monthly company meetings to celebrate our top performers and communicate promotions via internal emails and TV office updates so everyone can celebrate with you.

We also run yearly incentive trips to abroad destinations to recognise everyone who has performed well, and to let you know imposter syndrome can be tackled head on.

Set Realistic Expectations:

It’s natural to strive for excellence, but setting unrealistic expectations can contribute to Impostor Syndrome. Understand that it’s okay not to know everything from day one. Embrace the learning curve and focus on continuous improvement. Establishing achievable goals will allow you to make progress without overwhelming yourself.

Seek Mentorship and Guidance:

Building a support system within your new work environment is crucial. Seek mentorship from experienced colleagues who can provide guidance and share their own experiences with overcoming Impostor Syndrome. To help all our new starters within the business, HR allocate everyone a buddy when they start who you can confide in with any problems or questions you may have.

Furthermore, a ‘People Power Hour’ is hosted by the HR team every Wednesday where you have an option to discuss any personal or work-related queries. Josh Jennings, one of our consultants also leads a ‘Behind the Mask’ session once a month to help anyone who is struggling get back on track, by talking to some of our consultants who have lots of experience in recruitment.

Embrace Constructive Feedback:

Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for professional growth. Instead of viewing feedback as criticism, see it as an opportunity to learn and improve. Embrace the guidance provided by your colleagues and superiors, using it to refine your skills and enhance your performance. Understanding that everyone makes mistakes and has room for improvement will help alleviate feelings of inadequacy.

Cultivate a Growth Mindset:

Adopting a growth mindset is instrumental in overcoming Impostor Syndrome. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process. We always want to encourage an ALL-IN mindset which is why we have our three pillars in place, ‘People first’, ‘All In’ and ‘Continuous Improvement’ to keep everyone on track and progressing through the ups and downs.

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness, resilience, and a proactive approach to personal and professional development. By celebrating your achievements, setting realistic expectations, seeking mentorship, embracing feedback, and cultivating a growth mindset, you can build confidence in your new work environment. Remember, you are not alone in facing these challenges, and with time and perseverance, you’ll not only overcome Impostor Syndrome but thrive in your career.

Are you looking for a new role with support in place to help you navigate a new career? Contact us via the link here today.

Written by:

Shivani Patel

Lead Internal Recruitment Consultant

Shivani is the Lead Internal Recruitment Consultant hiring throughout PRG at all levels, from consultants that are brand new to recruitment to senior hires. Joining the company after completing an undergrad in Psychology at UWE, she is a great point of contact for anyone starting in our Bristol office.

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