Over the past three months, how we work and the way we work has dramatically changed. The current situation with coronavirus means many people who are normally office-based, are now working from home. This has come with its own unique challenges, including feeling like an imposter in your job role.
Being at home means that:
- We’re spending more time lone working
- We have other demands (like children and family)
- We have more time to think about things
- We’re spending more time online
- And spending even more time on social media (47% of people are spending longer on social media channels, more than they did before lockdown)
- We’re not getting the interaction we usually get from colleagues
- We’re working even harder to prove we can work effectively at home
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve missed being in an office with colleagues where we chat, brainstorm and work well together. We give each other reassurance and let each other know we’re doing a good job.
Working from home, you don’t get that dynamic. And with that, for me, comes the imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling that someone isn’t good enough and that at some point, they’ll be exposed as a fraud. I get this feeling a lot. I have it about this website!
However, there are a few things that I’ve found can help to calm these feelings:
- Stay social
If you are working from home, make sure you keep in touch with colleagues, whether it’s by phone, email or via video call. Being able to see work mates can make you feel more included and more positive too. Human contact can make all the difference.
2. Work/life balance
Being at home all the time makes having a work/life balance a bit more complicated. Trying to entertain the kids, do your work and have some down-time can seem unmanageable. However, if you plan in what time and when you’ll be doing things, it can make things a bit clearer. Especially planning in 30-60 minutes of you-time if possible. Make your plan flexible as things change daily.
3. Write down three positive things you achieved today
They can work related, home related or family related. Make a note of these things every day (before going to bed is good so that you feel positive when going to sleep). It doesn’t matter how big or small, all your achievements are important.
4. Keep an achievements folder on your PC/phone
I started to do this for work but whenever my manager or work colleagues send me positive feedback, I put it into a folder. So, whenever I feel the imposter syndrome creeping in and it’s telling me I’m not good enough, I look at these emails to cheer me up.
5. Don’t be afraid of failing
Admittedly, I’m terrified of failing at anything, being a perfectionist and all. However, what I’m learning (from my very practical other half) is that you can learn a lot from mistakes. It’s not the end of the world. You just have to learn from it and put it behind you. (Like I said, I’m working on this one!)
We all feel like we’re not good enough sometimes but if we have ways of dealing with those feelings, it will be helpful in the long run, until we get back into the office behind our desks.