Promotions & Impostor Syndrome

In one moment you can feel like a total fraud and that you're not good enough to be in your position. The very next moment, you're wondering why you're getting passed up for promotion, offended by the injustice of it all.

Welcome to Impostor Syndrome.

One of the things to remember is that Impostor Syndrome is not about ability. It mostly affects high achievers, people that are able to successfully tackle the most complicated and meatiest projects.

As we navigate these complex and tricky projects, doubt is sure to rise in us all. That's what makes you good at what you do. You are self-reflective, questioning your actions, wondering how you can make a bigger impact, thinking about your next move.

It crosses into dangerous territory when you begin to hyper-focus on your mistakes, and ignore your gains; When you are second-guessing yourself, not for strategic purposes, but because you're trying to avoid getting in trouble; When you're quietly doing your work but not showcasing it because you're worried about what other people will think.

This is how promotions go to other people.

Companies may be data-driven when it comes to making promotions and decisions, but they are mostly focused on quantitative data, not qualitative data. It's hard to measure one's energy, influence, soft-skills, etc. Yet, these factors absolutely impact one's ability to influence others, be seen and move up the ladder.