When doubt almost kills the dream

"Imposter syndrome took over; drowned out excitement, dulled my joy, muted my buzz. So real was it, I had to be convinced to take the job at all."

To say my career has taken an unusual trajectory in the last year, would be an understatement. I left a permanent, pensionable job because, amongst other reasons, the work was much too slow for me. I had a wonderful, supportive manager who did his very best for me, but when a new job offer sent my heart a flutter, I knew it was time to go.

I went on to work for a short period in a University, focusing on Primary Teacher Training. I am hugely grateful for the opportunity I had to view the education system from other perspectives. I sat in classrooms and witnessed the innovation and the passion of teachers in training, watched childrens’ eyes light up with curiosity at exciting, fun lessons.

Months previously, I had applied for a job I thought I’d never, ever get. Two interviews and an exam later, I got the job I had probably wanted my whole life, despite the fact it didn’t exist when I was in either school or college. You’d think then, when I got the call from HR, I’d have jumped for joy, right? Eh, no. Instead, I instantly became sweaty-palmed, nauseous with a hybrid of anxiety and dread. I’ve thought about it quite often since, sure, there was the apprehension of leaving yet another job I had just started and was enjoying, but there was something else, something more profound in the mix.

Imposter syndrome took over; drowned out excitement, dulled my joy, muted my buzz. So real was it, I had to be convinced to take the job at all. I had almost talked myself out of it, for so many reasons. I couldn’t let my current employer down, I had heard mixed reports of the organisation, I had moved jobs too many times already. All of these reasons (and many, many nonsensical more) masked the deep-rooted insecurity which all but took over.

Thankfully, my family, friends and even my previous manager gently guided, advised and counselled me, until I accepted my the job. Quite incredibly, I almost let the opportunity to work in the area in which I know I enjoy and can excel in, slip away because of thinly-veiled doubt.

I’m now 3 weeks in, feeling more confident everyday, despite having to go up against many other candidates and most notably, up against myself to get here.