The corporate ladder is sort of terrifying
December 3, 2012 4:20 PM Subscribe
Can you help me with my terrible case of imposter syndrome?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a middle-aged professional woman and I went through a career change about three years ago, into a field that I've had a longstanding interest in. The phrase 'dream job' wouldn't be inaccurate.
Since then I've gotten several significant raises and a promotion, and am now facing another de facto promotion. About a year or so in, I was given funding to hire someone to do the job I was initially hired to do so that I could focus on 'higher level' issues. I've now been given funding to add an additional handful of people to my department in newly created positions so that I can lead this part of our organization onward and upward. The jobs I'm hiring for are all salaried and themselves high-profile. Most of these positions were created -- get this -- at my request.
Each time the stakes rise higher, I freak out, my anxiety skyrockets, and I lean heavily on my anti-anxiety meds and use Ambien to help me sleep for six months or so until it plateaus again. I have prescriptions for both of those things and I work with a doctor to determine how much to use them and I don't have any dependency issues, but still, when I find myself dialing 1-800-Xanax on a regular basis, I know I'm not doing terribly well.
I feel like I am just lucky to have been given this job in the first place (I got an interview because I had an 'in' at the organization and I'm certain my resume would otherwise have been quietly tossed in the trash.) I worry that others resent me. I worry that the people who work for me will see that I am secretly unqualified or damaged in some way that I can't really do my job and am just faking it.
I am not depressed and am otherwise healthy and have a nice life. I like my job and the work of the organization.
How can I stop flipping out and feeling like these people don't realize it, but they've hired a dud?
I'd appreciate it if people could try to keep 'seek therapy' dialed down -- I don't have time for it, really, sincerely, and I am skeptical about its effectiveness for good reasons.
Anonymous because people I work with know I hang out here and it wouldn’t be hard to figure out who I am, and not only is this embarrassing but so are lots of things in my Metafilter history and I’m just not that cool with that level of self-disclosure to my co-workers.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org