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Impostor syndrome is a phenomenon more commonly used to describe high-performing women who feel like a fraud (or impostor, hence the phrase) despite their high achievement. I have encountered clients (of both genders actually) who use the word impostor to describe how they feel when attempting a career change. When changing careers, you’ll be starting with less experience and achievement in your new field versus your existing one. As you rebrand yourself for your new field, it makes sense the career change may come with feelings of faking it, like an impostor.

So if you feel like an impostor as you pivot careers, that’s reasonable! Impostor syndrome should not stop you from pressing on with your rebranding and career change . However, you will need actionable strategies for dealing with bouts of self-doubt. Here are five strategies for maintaining your confidence when embarking on a new career:

Itemize your accomplishments

Go ahead and brag! Create a list of all of your accomplishments to date – go line-by-line through your resume so you capture every role, every project, every volunteer stint and every extra-curricular activity, where you have accomplished something. You will want this list anyway to demonstrate proof to prospective employers of the value you bring. At the same time, your list of accomplishments serves as proof to you that you have had wins before and you will again.

Identify wins, however small, in your new career field

In addition to accomplishments overall, you want to demonstrate wins specific to your new field of interest. By virtue of less time and less mastery of this new field, the wins will likely be smaller but itemize what you have so far. These may include completing a class, doing some volunteer work or consulting, getting active in a professional association, or even just reading exhaustively on your own time about your new field of interest. You need this list to demonstrate genuine interest and follow-through to prospective employers in your new field. You need to have examples of action specific to your new career. At the same, this list of accomplishments specific to your new field reminds yourself that you are further along than you think. As you continually add to it, you can build momentum for your new career.

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Shutterstock

Impostor syndrome is a phenomenon more commonly used to describe high-performing women who feel like a fraud (or impostor, hence the phrase) despite their high achievement. I have encountered clients (of both genders actually) who use the word impostor to describe how they feel when attempting a career change. When changing careers, you’ll be starting with less experience and achievement in your new field versus your existing one. As you rebrand yourself for your new field, it makes sense the career change may come with feelings of faking it, like an impostor.

So if you feel like an impostor as you pivot careers, that’s reasonable! Impostor syndrome should not stop you from pressing on with your rebranding and career change . However, you will need actionable strategies for dealing with bouts of self-doubt. Here are five strategies for maintaining your confidence when embarking on a new career:

Itemize your accomplishments

Go ahead and brag! Create a list of all of your accomplishments to date – go line-by-line through your resume so you capture every role, every project, every volunteer stint and every extra-curricular activity, where you have accomplished something. You will want this list anyway to demonstrate proof to prospective employers of the value you bring. At the same time, your list of accomplishments serves as proof to you that you have had wins before and you will again.

Identify wins, however small, in your new career field

In addition to accomplishments overall, you want to demonstrate wins specific to your new field of interest. By virtue of less time and less mastery of this new field, the wins will likely be smaller but itemize what you have so far. These may include completing a class, doing some volunteer work or consulting, getting active in a professional association, or even just reading exhaustively on your own time about your new field of interest. You need this list to demonstrate genuine interest and follow-through to prospective employers in your new field. You need to have examples of action specific to your new career. At the same, this list of accomplishments specific to your new field reminds yourself that you are further along than you think. As you continually add to it, you can build momentum for your new career.

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