Imposter Syndrome! - [website] Email Print
Published: 22nd of Nov 2019 by: Carolyn Kessler

I have worked with a number of delegates who have proven their effectiveness in their jobs over the course of many years, yet they still feel like they’re frauds because they don’t have an official degree/diploma behind them.

My colleague recently forwarded me an article which explains that this is now a recognised issue. It's called the imposter syndrome.

Sounds like something out of a spy novel, but the name speaks directly to how many people feel about their lack of formal qualifications.

Without a doubt, there are careers which you can't undertake without the requisite tertiary education, but there are many where experience on the job is often more valuable. Hence the introduction of RLP or recognition of prior learning by the education authorities.

It would appear that a great deal of money is being wasted on degrees which take one nowhere and many of the articles I read or people to whom I listen, bear this out.

One such person is Sir Ken Robinson. He's an internationally recognised expert on education and related issues, so influential is he, that the Queen bestowed a knighthood on him for his invaluable contributions in this area.

He explains how many young people, in fact the majority of young people, are fed the expectation that they will go to university. That it's the only logical step once they've completed their schooling, and there's no alternative. He strongly disagrees with this and points to the fact that an overwhelming number of careers require talent and passion rather than 3 or 4 years of theoretical learning. His claims are backed up with the numerous studies he and his colleagues have done.

He also posits the argument that many students, who simply didn't blossom in our rigidly IQ based education systems, do so once they're in a job they enjoy, where they can interact with their peers and get hands on training.

This brings me back to Imposter Syndrome. If a person has held down a job for some time, is effective and experienced, they are fully qualified for the position. Add talent and passion to the mix, and you have a happy employee and an even happier employer.

To sum up - your value lies in your ability to perform the task well, to continuously seek out ways to broaden your knowledge, think critically and work towards relevant goals. If you subscribe to this set of ideals at work, you are not an imposter - you're likely to be worth your weight in gold!

We run Critical Thinking Workshops where we teach our delegates how to analyse problems in a structured and creative manner. Join us!

Visit our website or email us at for more info, or give us a call at 0861 996 660.
Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

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