Imposter syndrome as you might have guessed from the phrase is simply that feeling people get that they don’t quite belong in the field they’re trying to establish themselves in, particularly feeling as if they’re not adequately skilled or qualified. Imposter syndrome is most common among skilled individuals who haven’t really gone through formal academic qualification processes, most prevalent in fields like web design, programming, graphic design, consultation, etc.
So you’ll often witness this phenomenon among individuals who acquired their skills through more of a self-taught structure, many of whom are even more skilled and talented than their academic counterparts who took the formal qualification route. A naturally gifted artist might have a natural flair for designing killer logos for example, but because they’re not quite up-to-speed with the latest lingo and jargon associated with that particular field, they can very easily fall victim to imposter syndrome.
It’s perhaps understandable why a self-taught programmer may fall victim to this phenomenon, regardless of how talented they are or of how much of a good programmer they really are, since such a high price is placed on education. I mean families are willing to get into debt in order to service the tuition fees for their child to acquire any form of degree, so there are many different avenues through which this monster is fed.
Something quite interesting seems to have developed amongst the first and second generations of home schooled children who’ve since gone through their entire schooling system and entered the economic marketplace in that imposter syndrome seems to be rearing its ugly head in those circles. The same goes for young adults who have gone through alternative schooling systems, such as those who pass through the new age, outcomes-based type of education I’m a personal believer in.
All’s not lost however – far from it in fact. It’s simply a matter of the lifelong network the learners who pass through this system formulate showing its value, in that they can always come in and liaise with us for somewhat of an on-going real-world application consultation.
The value they get from utilising these networks goes beyond professional advice and support, sometimes just helping the former learners with issues for which the solution they themselves perhaps can’t obviously see due to a number of circumstances which cloud their judgement. One such ex-learner was at a crossroads, not knowing how to spend what they indicated to be their last bit of money to try and sort out a medical malpractice issue one of their loved ones was facing, in which case we simply referred them on to another ex learner whose own professional network consisted out of legal professionals Rutter Mills who offer free consultations.
These days however these types of intra- and inter-network interactions and collaborations are being taught as part of the core curriculum as a means through which to nip imposter syndrome in the bud amongst many other challenges facing this revolutionary way of education.
We’ll wait and see how it all turns out, but learners who pass through the system have the safety net of our support structure to fall back on should they face challenges.