On Imposter Syndrome

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Have you ever asked yourself, “what is it that I actually want to be doing?”

“What would make me actually enjoy going to work everyday?”

If you have, and I definitely have multiple times, that makes me think you might actually be in the career you should be in. Now at least in my case, I am certain that my current position is not the career I want to be in. The only problem though is what if you don’t have any experience in the career you would like to be in?

I think this is a common problem and often times, at least for me, something that leads me down the path of imposter syndrome. I’ll think to myself “why would the editor of this digital publication that I DREAM of being a part of, take a look at my cover letter?” On we go with the cycle. I then prop myself up with an internal pep talk, write my cover letter expressing my honest interest and strong desire to be a part of their team, press submit, and pray that my resume has the write “key words” that will pop out to this particular hiring manager, etc.

I have long been interested in writing, stemming from an awesome English teacher I had in my senior year of high school as well as a great Journalism class I took simultaneously. I knew I wanted to do something in that field. I went to college in Vermont and I chose to be an English major. I loved it, but even more than that, I loved being a part of our school’s news publication. I eventually rose to a senior news writer and I just loved seeing my words published. All throughout though, there was always this sentiment in the back of my mind that there were much better writers than me who would get better jobs and be happier (I know, dramatic).

At this same time, probably halfway through college, I discovered blogs. I can remember sitting at my computer while supposed to have been writing a paper, and scanning down Refinery29’s website for headlines that peaked my interest. I loved them all and could read for hours. I wanted to constantly immerse myself in the digital content. I’d like to also point out that this was a bit of a saving grace for someone who, ahead of my freshman year, transferred my magazine subscriptions to my dorm room address.

Fast forward to my graduating from college. I have a degree in English and people keep asking me “Oh! So you want to be a teacher?” “Ha! I laugh to them, Nope I’ll leave that to my younger sister majoring in education, I actually want to be in more of a journalism type field”. 22 and flailing around trying to perfect my resume and apply to as many jobs in publishing and editing at large corporations, I was not getting anywhere. I was actually happiest at my local boutique job looking at all of the new inventory and pretending I was a buyer for my own store.

Around the holidays through a lucky series of events and connections, I was able to interview for a position that I knew NOTHING about, in a field I knew even less about. I ended up taking the position, which I have been in ever since. That was a little over a year and a half ago. At first it was fine, it was new, etc. As the months went by though, I knew I wasn’t happy. I wanted to be doing something that I truly loved and cared about. I didn’t want to be sneaking onto my phone during work hours just to read the latest stories on my favorite sites. I wanted to be creating that content. I finally felt like I knew what I wanted to do.

The struggle with the fact that I want to be in this very competitive and exciting field, is that there are so many other young women who are all trying to get these positions too! I believe that it would be easy to simply give up and give in to the “why would I get this job over her” “My life is nothing like those other editors whose Instagram posts I stalk with envy and excitement”. The idea that I can find a position that is willing to give me a chance and getting over the Imposter Syndrome and just going for it, is what keeps me moving forward and chasing the light at the end of this tunnel! Imposter Syndrome is no longer going to impede my chasing my dreams. 

Taylor Delehanty