Analysts: Fight Impostor Syndrome

Analysts: Fight Impostor Syndrome

I had never heard of impostor syndrome until attending Wordcamp North Canton 2015 (Read about it here.) Like with most of my writing, I try to give things an “analyst’s twist.” Here are some ways that analysts in particular can fight impostor syndrome.

1. Degrees and certificates won’t save you.

I think part of the rush to degrees and certificates for analysts is partly due to impostor syndrome.

“If I only had degree, then I would be qualified.”

This is true for certain topics. And I love education — in fact, constant learning is essential for today’s analyst.

But eventually, you will have to take that knowledge and apply it to the work setting. So you will make mistakes. And you will need to have opinions.

Guess what? Impostor syndrome happens, no matter how many degrees you have. PhDs have impostor syndrome, too.

2. Mistakes mean you’re learning.

I’ve started writing to share what I’ve learned as an analyst over the past few years.

Do I know everything? No. But I can’t let that stop me from sharing.

Put your thoughts out there. If you found a new Excel hack, share it. Write about a book that helped you in your job. You may be afraid to write or not sure whether there’s a better spreadsheet model.

But if you’re scared to share, you won’t learn.

This reminds me of a Talmudic saying from Dennis Prager: “the easily embarrassed will not learn.”

If they’re good ideas, then others will gain from them. If they need work, then people will help you improve. Either way, you benefit.

3. Your title does not equal your wisdom.

This is something I learned from playing music in school.  There is hierarchy for a reason, but sometimes we use it as a way to hide behind our doubts.

As analysts, we often work with managers across the organization. It’s easy to think you’d have nothing to contribute, because you have no experience in that department, and you are not a manager. But there’s a reason you were called into the project in the first place!

Whether you are working with other analysts or executives, don’t let impostor syndrome stifle your work.

Image courtesy user Nemo on Pixabay.

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