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FYI, You’re Not a Fraud: Tips on Imposter Syndrome for Women in Tech

Flatiron School / 15 December 2016
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Last weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting a Women in Tech breakfast here on Flatiron School’s campus. Female members of the tech community converged at Flatiron to network with other driven women in tech and discuss issues facing them. We were thrilled to present Werk Co-Founder and Co-CEO Anna Auerbach, who gave a fascinating talk on Imposter Syndrome, “FYI, You’re Not a Fraud,” which addressed how she overcame it in her career and actionable tips for your own career.

Below, you’ll find Anna’s checklist for overcoming Imposter Syndrome (and a video so you can see the whole talk!):

1. Knowing is half the battle.

Those feelings of not fitting in in tech? It’s much easier to combat them once you know that what you’re dealing with is a real condition.

2. Embrace positive feedback and celebrate wins.

Don’t focus on the negatives. When you get good feedback, make sure you actually take the time to celebrate it rather than forging onto the next task. Let it give you the confidence boost that you’ve earned!

3. Differentiate feelings from facts.

When you’re feeling the effects of Impostor Syndrome, take a step back for a moment. Are the things that are racing through your mind your feelings, or are they facts? If you can separate them, it’s likely that you’ll see you’re actually doing things quite well.

4. Even “non frauds” make mistakes.

Don’t let mistakes justify your feelings of being an impostor. Everyone makes mistakes—from junior developers to CEOs—and you aren’t immune to that.

7 tips to combat #impostorsyndrome via @annapikauer & @flatironschool Click To Tweet

5. Separate yourself from “Me, Inc.”

The way you do your job, good or bad, does not define who you are as a person. Feelings of impostor syndrome can be exacerbated if you consider every little professional mistake or misstep you make as evidence you that you’re stupid or a bad person.

6. Remember that you aren’t under a microscope.

Everyone’s work is important, but it’s important to remember that no one is scrutinizing your work as closely as you are.

7. Oh, and everyone thinks they’re a fraud, too.

Everyone feels Imposter Syndrome from time to time. Some people are just better at hiding it.

Watch Anna’s full talk here:


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