My Future

How To Banish Imposter Syndrome Before Graduation

You got this.

With graduation looming, it’s easy to spend your final months overwhelmed with how much you don’t know and regretting all the time you’ve wasted sinking pints at the uni tavern and sleeping until 1pm.

But don’t give up! You have plenty of time to get into a positive headspace so you can nail your upcoming interviews. Imposter syndrome is real, and it can stop you from seizing opportunities.

Here’s how to stop the feeling that you’re not good enough.

Work Experience

Gaining substantial industry experience and insight is invaluable when trying to prevent feeling like you don’t know anything. This could include an internship, attending seminars, workshops, and talks.

Being around industry jargon will inflate your ego as you learn the standard best practices and slowly drown out the voice in your head saying you’re not ready to start your career.

Find Your Crew

Be it soon-to-be graduates like yourself or people already working in the industry, surrounding yourself with like-minded friends will go a long way when needing to feel included.

By joining a union, industry alliance or mentoring program, you’ll find it easier to keep up to date with what’s happening in your field by engaging in regular conversations about the industry as well as seeing your degree in action.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Research the industry outside of your degree. Think about the careers of the top professionals and the companies they work for, the latest industry research, trends and upcoming industry-specific events.

This way, you’ll feel more confident in your interviews you know things the other applicants might not, and you’ll also find out more about what you’re getting yourself into. This can include reading books, listening to podcasts or watching documentaries but one thing is important: keep learning.

Think Long Term

J.K Rowling wasn’t a published author until Harry Potter hit shelves when she was 32. Leonard Cohen released his first album in his 30s. Stan Lee’s first comic hit was when he was 38.

Your career won’t happen overnight. Remind yourself this run is a marathon, not a sprint and the mistakes you make early on in your career are just learning opportunities. Don’t get bogged down now by all the bad things that could happen. Focus on the things you’ll get done in the future.

Set Some Goals

Having long-term goals about where you want to be in five, 10, 20 years time will help stop the immediate dread of “I need to be good at this now”.

Focusing on the future can help you figure out the path you need to take to get there and the steps you can start taking now, like dealing with your imposter syndrome!

Visualise Your Badass Self

Popular with athletes and CEOs, visualising yourself doing your future job really helps settle the nerves. There are many theories behind visualising both the best and worst things that could happen so close your eyes and imagine the world you’re heading into.

Think About How Far You’ve Come

I’m sure you were an entirely different person five years ago. So, in another five years, you would have achieved things you could never have imagined. Keep this up because as much as you feel useless, incompetent and full of self-doubt, you’re growing every single day.

Letting doubt and fear run your life is a recipe for disaster. Keep the negativity at bay, enjoy the remainder of your degree and look forward to all the exciting things you’ll get to learn.

Where you’re at now is only the beginning. Enjoy the journey. Have fun on the ride.

Kelly Walker is a creative writer and recovering bagel addict based in Melbourne. When she’s not writing or playing roller derby, she’s searching for the best smashed avo ever. She’s on Twitter at @kellywalker89 and promises to start tweeting, one day.

(Lead image: Confessions of a Shopaholic/Touchstone)