“But who really develops the overall marketing strategy for the company. Is it you or is the CEO behind it all?” As I let that question linger in the air during a recent call with an industry colleague, it took me far longer than it should have to claim ownership of one of my main job functions as Director of Marketing for RCN Capital. After almost eight years in the industry and spending all of that time building RCN’s marketing department up from a team of one (just me) to a now team of ten employees, why did I have such a hard time saying, yes, I was in fact a part of that success and growth? Turns out, I was suffering from something known as imposter syndrome.
Feeling Like An Imposter
So, what exactly is imposter syndrome? Imposter syndrome is the idea that someone feels like they don’t actually deserve the accomplishments and recognition they have received, mainly in their professional life. They feel like they have only made it this far by sheer, dumb luck, and not because of their talent or qualifications. I had no idea this feeling had a name until speaking with another colleague recently about an upcoming Women’s Conference, but once I hung up the phone, I wanted to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.
After some thorough digging, I realized experiencing this feeling is more common than I initially expected. According to a review article in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, “an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives.”
Also, while these feelings affect both men and women, typically women seem more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome than their male counterparts. This is especially true for women in male dominated industries and industries where women are underrepresented in senior management positions. Being a female in a director role in the mortgage industry, I checked every box. So, while I may be in good company, it still isn’t pleasant feeling like a fraud in your everyday life.