Why is imposter syndrome still plaguing some workers?

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Nearly three in five (58%) workers experience imposter syndrome in the workplace – meaning they often believe they are inferior to others or have faked their way into positions despite impressive accomplishments, according to a report from Indeed.

Overall, more than one in 10 (13%) employees and one in five (20%) of senior managers admit they “always” or “very frequently” feel like a fraud, finds the survey of 2,500 workers in the UK.

“This is quite common in all workplaces, but has particular implications in corporate and academic environments, where certain jobs hold a lot of power and have a lot of responsibilities,” said Fabienne Palmer, a clinical psychologist who consults organizations in the creative industry.

Employers with workers who experience frequent imposter syndrome face considerable challenges:

  • greater levels of procrastination (63%)
  • longer working hours (57%)
  • higher staff turnover (44%)
  • a loss in productivity (41%)
  • employees who avoid applying for internal promotions (39%).

“If you feel you don’t fit the mold, or represent something slightly different from the norm, imposter syndrome, or the sense you are left with — the emotions, thoughts, and feelings in your body — can really impact on your sense of self, your confidence, and ultimately your capacity to thrive in the workplace,” said Palmer.

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