Imposter Syndrome

I recently attended the London VMUG and Joep Piscaer presented a great closing keynote on Imposter Syndrome entitled “Come Listen to Me, I’m a Fraud.” 

The synopsis of his presentation stated “With fifteen years in IT and a successful career as a world-class infrastructure engineer, as a speaker at many industry conferences, a blogger, analyst and technical marketing freelancer for Silicon Valley Startups and a CTO of a 1200+ infra and software engineering company, I can definitely say I suffer from imposter syndrome.”

While I could relate to some of the content he presented on, I personally didn’t think I’d been in a position in my career where I felt I didn’t belong, was out of my depth or was an “imposter.” How ironic then that a few weeks after the London VMUG and Joep’s presentation, I sit here writing this post with a complete fear of being exposed as an imposter!

Let me elaborate. There is a big movement around Women in Tech (you may have noticed) and I’m a very strong supporter of this movement. I’ve mentored a few women in terms of raising their own profile and advised on career advancement for example. I’m a regular reader of CRN here in the UK and they recently asked for nominations for Women in Channel awards. There were over 500 nominations received and they announced the list of nominees in May. I was delighted to see my name on this list in the Entrepreneur of the Year category. The next step was for one to complete an online questionnaire to move to the next stage of being shortlisted. The questions were very diverse; from what motivates you to has being a woman impacted any part of you being an entrepreneur. I duly completed the online questionnaire and, frankly, didn’t think any more about it. As mentioned previously, I regularly read CRN so when I saw they’d published the shortlist, I didn’t even read it immediately – because of course there’s no way I’d have made the cut. But when I did finally read the article, I was delighted, shocked and amazed to see my name listed, along with 6 other nominees!

Now, reading the article, I started to totally relate to Joep’s presentation. I clearly shouldn’t be on the list, little ol’ me from hiviz-marketing – established so I could fulfil both my passions of technology and riding my horses – was listed amongst these other women in tech  – WTAF!  I shared the news on Twitter and FaceBook and was so delighted to see everyone’s congrats. So, maybe, I am worthy after all? Perhaps the feeling of imposter syndrome will ease? If I listen to Joep, the answer to that is no!

I enter many of my clients into industry awards and always tell them to make finalist stage is a win in itself, to win the actual award is just the icing on the cake. I’m taking my own advice then – I’m a winner already!! The awards dinner, where the winners will be announced, is being held in London on 17 October. That date is my wedding anniversary. So, I’m going to take hubby along and we can at least have dinner on hiviz-marketing – assuming the accountant agrees!!