Feeling like you don’t belong in your role, or aren’t good enough for it?
If you’re feeling this way and questioning yourself even though you have the skills and experience needed for your role, chances are you’re experiencing ‘impostor syndrome’.
Read on to find out more about what impostor syndrome in social care is, how it can affect you, and what you can do to beat it – yes, it’s possible!
Understanding Impostor Syndrome in Social Care
Feeling like you’re an impostor “faking it ‘til you make it” is a common experience for workers, regardless of your gender or position.
It can be particularly amplified in social care, where the job can be emotionally draining, and the stakes are high working with vulnerable people.
Social care recruitment expert Zena Clark says she sees impostor syndrome mostly when people are moving from hands-on support roles to operational or management positions.
“People tend to have two worries,” she says. “The first is, ‘Can I do the job?’ and the second is, ‘Can I hold my own in meetings in my new sphere of influence?’”
So if you’re feeling this way or asking yourself the same questions, know you’re not alone! It’s a very common experience.
And the good news is that there are some great ways to conquer it.
Expert advice on impostor syndrome in social care
Impostor syndrome in social care can be especially tough when you’re starting out in your career, interviewing for new roles, or taking on new responsibilities.
“I think the biggest issue I see is the insecurities at the interview stage,” says Jenny Rosser, Be Recruitment cofounder.
“Being able to reflect on your experiences, and speak about them positively to describe how you’ve overcome them can be tricky,” she continues.
“That’s why our consultants help to coach our candidates on interviewing techniques – we can help with this stuff.”
Whether you’ve been selected for an interview or have already been hired, remember that they chose you for a reason! This in itself is a huge recognition that your unique skills and perspective are valuable to the organisation.
If you are transitioning from a hands-on client facing role into a more organisational management position, don’t be intimidated by the people you’ll be working with at this new level.
Zena reminds us:
“Most of them came from client support roles at one point too! They are human just like you, and most likely went into the sector for the same reasons you did.
“The experience you have is WHY they want you in this new role, so your input in meetings is integral.”
Plus, she adds that your new colleagues’ hands-on experience may be out of date, so it’s even more important to contribute to meetings in your new role. They need your input to help drive better service delivery!
A refreshing new perspective, right?
Tips on overcoming impostor syndrome in social care jobs
Focus on your strengths and accomplishments. As we mentioned in our previous post, noting down your clients’ wins makes a great resource for yourself in times of self-doubt, to remind yourself of the difference you make in others’ lives!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about something. If you’re unclear – chances are others in the room are also wondering the same thing! In this way asking can actually be a sign of strength and dedication to your job, as it shows that you really care about doing your best.
In the same vein, take advantages of any training and professional development opportunities. They will help you build not just your skills, but your confidence too.
The bottom line
Celebrate your skills and unique perspective – you’re not an impostor, you’re an experienced and skilled social care worker!
Even if you’ve just finished your degree, all those placement hours you did (!) are hours that count as experience in the sector. Own them!
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and insights – ‘lean in’ as Sheryl Sandberg says, and don’t let impostor syndrome hold you back.
Be Recruitment is a specialist recruitment partner in the social care space. If you’d like to learn about the current job market and how and where your skills and experience are in greatest demand, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch for a confidential chat today.