Sophie studied mathematics at university which did not go as planned. She finished with a diploma, nonetheless. Serendipity brought her into agile testing – and she has never looked back. She now works happily as a test automation engineer at cronn GmbH, a Bonn based IT company. After years of successfully hunting bugs, lately she’s also been working her way into Java backend development so she can cut out the middle person and introduce the bugs herself. In her free time, she enjoys doing ballet and SUPing (in non-lockdown times) or knitting and baking (in lockdown times). No stranger to the universe’s gut punches, she is passionate about improving awareness and communication about mental health and self-care.
NewCrafts Paris 2023
The Impostor’s Guide to Tooting Your Own Horn
There’s a tiny little monster that lives inside my ear. The monster likes being mean. It keeps whispering to me, telling me that I don’t know anything about nothing, that I am bad at everything I have ever tried my hand at, and that I can’t do anything right. If presented with evidence to the contrary, it says that every single one of my achievements happened because I was lucky that nobody realized that I am actually very stupid. It’s mean, but sadly quite convincing.
Does that sound familiar? The monster is called impostor syndrome and many people have met it. It makes life hard, never being able to fully trust in your intelligence and your abilities, never being proud of what you worked for, and constantly fearing that you might be found out as a fraud. In your professional life especially, you must be able to sing your own praise. Job interviews, performance reviews, meetings with a potential new client: all of these are situations in which saying “Here I am; this is what I can do, and that’s why I deserve what I want from you” is a key ability. Truth be told, you even must be able to lay it on a little thick. No easy feat when the monster tells you the exact opposite.
I still suck at this but … Whoops, that was the monster talking again. Shut up, monster! Let’s try again:
I have, over the years of living with the monster, found a few handy tips and tricks how to deal with it. It is not gone and probably never will be, but it is tamed, and I can say with - at least some, hard earned - confidence that I know how to advocate for myself. And I would like to share these tricks with you.
Welcome to “Tooting your own horn 1.01”. I’ll be your guide.