April 6, 2022

How to Get Over Imposter Syndrome After Getting a New Job - Ep. 39

How to Get Over Imposter Syndrome After Getting a New Job and How to Deal With It

Here's What You Should Do

Imposter Syndrome is real, especially after getting a new job, and here's how to deal with it!

Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Why having an imposter syndrome on a new job is normal and it happens to almost everyone
  • What are the steps you can take to deal with imposter syndrome and get acclimated to your new job
  • The importance of communication and how to properly communicate when you're struggling in your new job

Ryan shares how learning to acknowledge your failures will tremendously help you in overcoming imposter syndrome.

Hannah talks about the importance of asking questions and how to properly do it.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys and welcome back to the degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed

Hannah: Welcome back everybody. We're happy to have you as always. And if you would like to get degree free news, information about companies that are going degree free, offering apprenticeships, cool resources for how to teach yourself, then you are going to want to get our newsletter that is going to be available for free. If you sign up @degreefreenetwork.com, which you should run over and do right now.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And if you haven't already please like and subscribe it helps to get other people to know about what we do and the information that we have here. Just get it out to them without further ado, let's get into today's topic.

Today, we are going to be talking about. How do we get over imposter syndrome when you're starting at a new job.

Hannah: This is happening for a lot of people right now, especially if you have been somebody who's been following us on Tik Tok. And now you're listening to this podcast too, and you've done you've, you've either self-taught something or you got a tech certification.

And man, when you get that first job, you feel extremely small. You feel very much like you don't know what you're doing, even though you just, you just learned how to do it.

Ryan: Right. It's not only that too, that is the main people, but also this could happen if you've been on a sabbatical for a long time.

And so like, for example, right now with the job market, right, the average person is unemployed for like 29 weeks. Right. And. Oh, okay. That's a long time. Right? And so now you got your first job and it might not be the first job in this industry. It might be that you've just been out of work for a really long time, or, you know, and now you're returning and now you're like, oh crap. I don't know

Hannah: How to work.

Ryan: Right. I don't know what's going on or you feel like that at least. And this is something that we've dealt with personally, but also something that we're seeing happen. Especially since exactly what you said for us, we are really big advocates of self-educating right? Self-teaching and getting obtaining certifications. But then those certifications, just like a college degree, they don't teach you how to do the job. It just says that, okay. You know how to do this certain task. But when you actually get the job, now there's so much more to learn.

Hannah: Yeah. And this, I think for people who are, for people who are listening, one, one thing that I'd like to note about this feeling about the imposter syndrome is that if you have this feeling, it's actually a good thing. Like you need to make friends with this feeling because it means that you reach for something and then you got it. And now you have to deal with the fact that you're scared, because that's all it is, is just fear of the unknown. And if you're fearing the unknown as it's, cause you never been here before, and that's a good thing, that means that you're growing.

Ryan: Yep. It also means that you care, right?

Hannah: Yeah, that's true.

Ryan: You, you actually care about whether or not you're good at your job or not, and I'm sure that that's going to show, right. I'm sure that it's going to show in your work as well. And so one of the things that we have to remember is that just because you get hired to do a job, doesn't mean that your employer expects you to know how to do everything, right? There is a level of competency that they expect, obviously, and you shouldn't oversell yourself in the job interview and in the job hunting process process, that being said, a lot of employers understand that it takes a while to train people and get them up to their standards. And as long as you were upfront in that process, and as long as you remain willing to learn, it's, it's all going to work out.

Hannah: Yeah. And most of your coworkers slash managers are gonna be willing to help you learn.

Ryan: Right, right. And so like, what are some of the ways that we can get over this, this feeling of imposter syndrome?

Hannah: Okay. So the number one thing that I have is basically clear communication. And by that, I mean, when you do not understand something. Make sure you clarify, you say, is this what you are saying? And then get the person to say, yes. And then get them to make sure they repeat it basically. And all that is, is making sure that one, you understood correctly. Two, they understood that you understood. And then three, that it has, you have heard it twice.

And so, you know, for a fact that this is the, this is the thing you need to do. This is when you need to do it, and this is how you need to accomplish it. And those things as, as basic as that sounds, you would not believe the amount of people. And you know, I've, I've definitely experienced this, that, because they haven't clarified something one, they put it off.

That's a huge thing. And especially when you're starting a new job and you're worried about not being able to play the task, as well as you'd like to, you'll put it off. If you don't understand, you're say, oh, well, I didn't understand, blah, blah, blah. So just make sure you understand what's going on. Especially if you're new, that's really gonna help your coworkers to understand how you communicate. But also it's just gonna make sure that you're clear on everything that's going on. And if you're clear on what's going on, what's needed, when it's needed and why it's needed, you'll be fine.

Ryan: Yeah. So I think one of the keys is going to be like, don't run away from your job responsibilities, right? Like, and this is all super simple stuff. It's not easy as we always say, but it is simple. Don't, if you don't know something, this is the time to clarify and ask, especially when you're new. Right? The worst thing that we can do is we can push off, not knowing what that thing is.

Hannah: Pretend like you know what it is.

Ryan: Especially if it keeps coming up, if it comes a multiple times and you still don't know what it is by the fifth time that you've heard or heard this term or whatever, whatever this process you should know what it is. And the, by the time you hear it the sixth time you still don't know, it's going to be much more difficult to ask. Cause then they're gonna be like, why didn't you ask the first time you heard it?

Hannah: Yeah. And that's huge because especially if you're at a new job, especially if you're at a new tech job and you just got into the tech, there's a lot of acronyms. If you do not know what an acronym is or what a thing is ask, just ask what it is. Oh, what is that?

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Just like that. Just like that. It doesn't make you sound stupid. It makes you sound like you want to know what's going on.

Ryan: Yup. And then, this is another little tip, which is gonna be, try to pick up whatever jargon or vocabulary words that you need in your field.

Hannah: And then make flashcards. I'm not joking. That's what I did when I first started work. If I didn't know what something was, I would write it down. I would ask what it was. And then I would put the definition on a flashcard and make sure that I did flashcards, because often you get in meetings too with people that are even higher up than you and they throw around acronyms. And if someone else asks them what that acronym means often they don't even know. But if you do, all you have to do half the battle is just knowing what things are.

Ryan: Yep. Absolutely. So just learning the vocabulary is gonna be a huge help in the beginning. And it's going to be easier to understand what it is the heck you, that you're doing at your job.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Because a lot of people get hired and they still, they still don't even know what they do.

Hannah: Yeah. You, you're, you're like a month end and they don't know what's going on. And it's because they never asked questions. And that's huge. You just, you have to know, you have to know what's going on so that you look like you're at least learning what's going on.

This leads us into the next part, which is setting expectations. And honestly, this process starts when you start interviewing, which is where you give an accurate view of what you're able to do and your ability to learn things, which is not difficult to do, to say if I don't know something, I will learn it. It's very simple.

It's an, it's, it's basically a promise that you can make to somebody that is accurate, which is, if you don't understand something you'll figure out how to do it. But if you're given a task, especially when you are new and you say, yeah, I'll get that to you by tomorrow. And you do not know how to do that task. The likelihood of you doing that is very small. And not only that, but now you've set expectations in accurately. So not only because you're new, you might not know how to do it correctly. And then because you're new, it might take you longer than you think. And so if the next day. This person now says, where is it?

And you say, oh, I need another day. Now that task is a failure. When you could have just said, I can get that to you in three days, because it's the first time I've done it. And they'll say, oh, okay. That sounds great. You know? If, if you want it to go even further, you're given a task and you say, Hey, I've never done this. Can I have three days to do it?

Then can I check in with you for feedback on it, on the, on you know, on the second day to make sure I did it correctly and most people are gonna be like, sure. And now you've not only have you eliminated failure because you didn't make, you didn't set a bar for yourself that you literally couldn't get pass, but you also involve the other person and got help to make sure you were doing the tasks correctly.

Ryan: Yep, absolutely. It's all about setting expectations is something that you and I talk about a lot, and this is even in like the sales process or you know, running businesses or you've just communication in general, but this is a specific part of communication. It's don't over promise if you can't over-deliver.

Hannah: Yup.

Ryan: Right? It's the deadline thing is a perfect example, right? I mean, don't give them the time that you think that they want to hear, give them the time that you think that you need to do, do the task. And that sounds really silly, but it is one of those things that it's very easy at caught up. And especially since you're new and you want to impress them.

Hannah: They're usually, yeah I can do that by, and I cannot tell you the amount of times I've done that. And then I didn't, I didn't, I wasn't able to do it on time.

Ryan: Yeah, and then you look like an asshole.

Hannah: Yeah, and then you look like a failure when you could've just looked like a normal, regular success by saying, I need three days to do that, because I've never done it.

Ryan: Right, exactly.

Hannah: Or I'm not sure how long it's going to take me, but I think I can get it done by this time.

Ryan: Right, and that's all it, that's all it took.

Hannah: And that's, the only difference. There was no difference in the work. It was just the difference in you sent and you communicating clearly again, first point. This is, this is how much time I think I need to do this. Here's why, can I ask you for help if I get stuck.

Ryan: And I want it to go back to what you were talking about, like at the very beginning of your interaction with these people, with your new employers or soon to be new employers in the job interview, right? You want to sell yourself enough to get the job, obviously, but,


Obviously, but there's a separate estate Harry Potter reference for those at home. Sorry.

Hannah: You're welcome everyone.

Ryan: And you, you want to sell it enough to get the job, but you don't want to oversell.

Hannah: Nope.

Ryan: Right? If you, you're like, okay. I'm just an example off the top of my head like, yes, I know how to edit videos or you know, but I just know how to, but if you just tell them, like, here's my portfolio, I only really know how to do simple cuts. I don't really know how to use. After a fact. So I don't know how to use whatever. Right. And then,

Hannah: A good example was I was once asked if I had experienced in technical writing and I said, well, technically I said, well, I don't have experience in technical writing, but I do have experience in nonfiction writing and instructional and instructional writing, which is very similar.

And I believe that I could do technical writing. That's accurate, which is I'm not going to be the best time cool writer you ever met, but I can do it. And that sets the expectation correctly. In that the first time they see a piece of my technical writing, they don't expect it to be the best thing they've ever seen, because I've never done that specific task before. Instead they expect it to be decent, but not perfect, because I'm not an experienced this, but I have the ability to do it.

Ryan: Right. Just sets expectations as we're talking about.

Hannah: Yeah. Just be accurate. Just don't, just don't lie.

Ryan: Right.

Hannah: It's real easy, actually.

Ryan: It's, it's simple.

Hannah: Don't tell people you can do things that you can't do. Because you're just gonna let yourself down. It's just gonna come bite you in the butt. Every time.

Ryan: Yeah. And then the last thing that we think. It's gonna help you in this imposter syndrome thing is just acknowledging your failures, right?

Hannah: Yeah. When you mess up or you can't deliver something or you get stuck just going to somebody quickly and say, Hey, I didn't do this right or Hey, I messed this up. Do you, is there you know, and, and asking questions that are helpful informed. So not just saying, what's wrong with this, but going in having looked at whatever it is that you know is not correct and say I think that this is wrong. Do you know how I could accomplish this piece of this task? And because most people, most people are just gonna be like, oh yeah, I think you just need to do this.

Ryan: Right. Or you can even say like, I think this is wrong and here's where I think went wrong.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Here's where it started to go off the rails for me. I don't know how to, you know, if you're trying to figure out how to do an Excel spreadsheet or something like that and you're like, well, it's a 10 step Excel spreadsheet. I think. I'm at step 10 now, but it's not working out. I think I mess up at step five.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Right.

Hannah: I'm not. Or the formulas aren't adding up, I'm getting errors now and I'm not really, I'm not really sure where in here the errors are.

Ryan: Right, exactly. So, you know, you could walk it through like, step one is good, step two is good, step three is good, four is okay, five is where I'm getting the error, but then I kept, kept going or whatever.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And so I think this is all, it's all communication, right? I mean, And that's going to help the inward feeling of being an impostor of being like, well, I don't really belong here. Right. And it's very difficult for a lot of people I'll speak for myself. That's very difficult for me, right? To acknowledge my failures, to set expectations correctly because I'm a people pleaser, I like to, right? I mean, if you expect me to do something at a certain time and you're like, well, I'd like it done tomorrow and really well, I'd like to just tell you yes, it can be done tomorrow but I probably, for my own sake, I should probably tell you,

Hannah: No.

Ryan: It'd be done. Yeah. It'd be done in three days cause I don't know how to do it. Right? I mean, and exactly what you said on the second day or tomorrow, can I ask you for guidance to see if this is correct?

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And this is all just the theme of clear communication and that clear communication that accepting and acknowledgement of failures and being able to come to your boss or your manager, or even your peers with a possible solution or at least with an idea of where the problem went wrong.

That's gonna do wonders for your, inward view of belonging,

Hannah: Yes.

Ryan: In that place.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Right? Because the self-talking get really negative really quickly, especially if you put these things off, right. If you don't acknowledge your failures and you try to fix it yourself and you still don't know how to do it and it's the deadline is today and you're like, crap, I don't know how to do it. It's very easy to like go down that negative rabbit hole and just be like, well, I sucked, you know what I mean? Like, what am I doing here?

Hannah: And just pile on and pile on yourself. And then, and then it gets hard to want to do your work too. Cause you're all demoralized and you did it to yourself. And I think while this episode seems short and simple, I think that for a lot of people, they just need to hear those short and simple things. I wish somebody had just said that to me. Which is, which is why we did this episode because basically what I needed someone to tell me was just communicate clearly, ask questions, ask what is that when you don't know. Make sure you understand what is being asked of you and why, and then make sure that you set your expectations correctly when you're delivering a task or a thing, and then acknowledge when you don't, when you don't do something right.

Ryan: Yeah. And today we're focusing on the things that you can take action on, right? Like we're focusing on the things that you can make happen in the physical world. Right? That doesn't mean there isn't like a inward element to this, right? Like your self-talk has to be positive. Right? I mean, don't beat yourself up too much. Right? I mean, that's where it all starts.

Hannah: Just enough.

Ryan: That's where, that's where it all starts. It's like, we're all new at something at some point in time. Right? Give yourself time to learn it. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Right? Don't crawl into a hole and not get your work done.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Right? Which I mean, Frick, it happens.

Hannah: It's tempting.

Ryan: It happens man.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah. And all these types of things are gonna help you to hopefully move towards feeling.

Hannah: Sure of yourself.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. In the, in, in the, in your chosen career or in that job. Right? And I think that's pretty much it for today. It's a pretty quick one.

Hannah: Yeah. If you folks, want to see more degree for news, more resources about how to teach yourself and improve and jobs and work and degree free career ideas then sign up for the newsletter at degreefreenetwork.com. It is free and we love to have you read it.

Ryan: And yeah, if you haven't already please like and subscribe, it helps to get the word out there to other people and get our message out there. If you guys want to get in contact with us, the best way is [email protected]. Drop us a line. We always love to hear from you guys.

If you have any questions, that's probably the best way to get in touch with us. A lot of our questions that we get from you guys helps us to figure out how to make new episodes or what the topics are. So, that's super helpful for us as well. And give us a follow on social media I'm @ryankmaruyama she's @hannahmaruyama and the podcast is @degreefreepod.

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