Imposter Syndrome-Welcome to My World!

January 14, 2020

I thank Jon Shaulis (blog|twitter) for hosting T-SQL Tuesday #122. The topic for this month is Imposter Syndrome. I also want to acknowledge Adam Machanic’s vision behind this project. I learned a lot from some of the #TSQL Tuesday’s and participated in a few. Thank you, Steve Jones (blog|twitter), for coordinating this program. If you are interested to see previous topics, visit here.

I needed much time to understand the topic. I was reading the definition of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ everywhere but could not picture what does this mean? Jon provided a search url  that landed me to a podcast by ‘SQL Data Partners‘. It was ‘Episode 99: Imposter Syndrome‘ by Mindy Curnutt (blog|twitter) whom I had the privilege to meet few times during SQL PASS Summit. Listening to Mindy’s podcast, I truly understood what does ‘Imposter Syndrome’ means. It was like she was talking about my thought process.

After a successful 12 year career in Marchant Marine, I moved to the USA. I started Graduate School after rejecting to pursue a career in Coast Guard, which has many similarities to Marchant Marine. Looking back now, coming to a new profession in the mid-thirties most likely caused my ‘Imposter Syndrome’ issue. I knew I had to work hard to catch up but did not appreciate that I did catch up in many ways, and it is ok to celebrate my success.

  • Five and half years after starting as an associate, DBA started leading a very talented team of DBAs.
  • When I decided to switch the job, I had 3 written offers within days.
  • I joined the board of a local SQL Server User Group.
  • Speaking in User Groups and SQL Saturday’s around the country.
  • I started my blog.
  • I have organized two SQL Saturdays in Boston.
  • Microsoft Data Platform MVP award.

Because of my Imposter Syndrome also:

  • I did not ask to lead the team when I knew they needed someone.
  • I was promoted to Principal DBA in two workplaces ( My current one is my third place working as a data professional) without myself asking.
  • Was given a raise more than I expected.
  • Did not ask to organize events till someone told me, “You could do it, and we are here to help you”.
  • I did not believe that I can be an MVP. But others believed in me nominated more than one time.

I am also reading a lot about what you can do about Imposter Syndrome? I do not think I am in a position to advise about the topic (Not Imposter Syndrome; this is true ). Knowing about it and being aware every time your brain gives a negative signal is winning half of the battle. This article ‘Overcoming Imposter Syndrome‘ by Gill Corkindale in Harvard business review has some easy to follow practical steps.

1 reply on “Imposter Syndrome-Welcome to My World!”

Taiob, I found it interesting that you suggested that you weren’t in a position to advise those who had imposter syndrome. I thought the advice you gave about overcoming the negative signals you are receiving was great and you were able to link to another article and a great podcast that talked about imposter syndrome. I would dare say this sounds like you have imposter syndrome about advising with imposter syndrome.

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