Overcoming Imposter Syndrome in IT by a MSP Tech

Have you ever felt like a complete fake at work? Like you’re just one Google search away from being exposed as the tech newbie you secretly believe yourself to be? Well, you’re not alone – that’s imposter syndrome! It’s a real beast in the IT world. Just like in most industries, you can start doubting yourself. With tech, this is especially true because it is always changing.

But here’s the thing: You’ve got the skills and the smarts. Imposter syndrome is just a super annoying voice in your head making you doubt yourself. Let’s tackle that voice together.

Tip 1: Remember Your Wins

Whether they’re small or big, write down your successes. Did you fix a tricky network issue? Help a confused coworker understand a new program? Boom, that’s a win! When imposter syndrome gets loud, remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished. Having a stash of wins to refer to when doubt creeps in can be a big motivator.

Think about it this way: every time you overcome a challenge, you’re proving to yourself that you have what it takes. You’re not just stumbling through your job; you’re actively learning and growing. Each win, no matter how small, is a testament to your abilities.

So, start keeping a record of your successes. It could be a document on your computer, a note on your phone, or even a physical notebook. Whenever you achieve something, no matter how insignificant it might seem, write it down. Over time, you’ll build up a powerful repository of evidence that you are, in fact, competent and capable.

Tip 2: Embrace the “I Don’t Know”

IT is HUGE! No one knows everything, and it’s okay to admit, “I don’t know…yet.” Asking questions and being open to learning is how you truly become a tech pro. IT is ever-changing, and there will be many times you will have to use tools to find the answer. But knowing how to put it all together in the long run is what makes you an expert in your field.

Admitting that you don’t know something can be scary, especially when you’re wrestling with imposter syndrome. You might fear that it makes you look incompetent. But in reality, it shows that you’re humble and eager to learn. It demonstrates that you’re not afraid to ask for help when you need it.

I know when I do not know something, I find it’s best to do some initial research and form an idea of what should be done. Then, I verify with someone such as my supervisor, boss, or a subject matter expert. Being a tech at an MSP, a lot of customers think you know everything about all the software, even a specific software that only they use. It’s best to try and assist them but let the customer know that you are going to call the software support to get the answer.

Also the process of learning – of taking something you don’t know and turning it into something you do know – is what truly builds your expertise. Every time you say “I don’t know,” you’re opening the door to learning something new and expanding your skill set.

Tip 3: Build Your Support Team

Find a mentor, a tech buddy, or an online community. Knowing people have your back makes a massive difference when those imposter feelings creep in.
Having a support network is crucial because it provides perspective. When you’re stuck in your own head, it’s easy to blow your insecurities out of proportion. But when you talk to others, you often find that they’ve had similar experiences and doubts. Suddenly, you realize that you’re not alone and that what you’re feeling is normal.

A mentor can be particularly valuable. This is someone who has been where you are and has overcome the challenges you’re facing. They can offer guidance, reassurance, and practical advice based on their own experience. I have not participated in a mentor program yet, but it is definitely something I am considering. Today, I listened to a podcast called “MSP Mindset.” In the episode, they discussed how a mentor can be a shortcut to success.

Similarly, connecting with a community of peers – whether that’s coworkers, friends in the industry, or an online group – can provide a sense of belonging. You can share your struggles, celebrate each other’s wins, and learn from one another.

You Belong in IT

Imposter syndrome might be a pain, but it doesn’t own you! Use these tips, keep learning, and you’ll see just how valuable you are to the tech world.

Remember, everyone feels like an imposter sometimes. The key is to not let that feeling control you. Recognize it for what it is – a distorted perception, not reality – and then take steps to combat it.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are. You’ve studied, practiced, and problem-solved your way into the IT field. You belong here, just as much as anyone else.

So, the next time that nagging voice tries to tell you you’re a fraud, remember your wins, embrace what you don’t know, lean on your support network, and keep pushing forward. You’ve got this! Learning is just part of the journey.

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