Why the Imposter Syndrome Thrives in Tech

Fans of the TV series Silicon Valley may believe that tech workers all suffer from inflated egos and a grandiose sense of self-importance. While egomaniacs make hilarious television characters, the truth is, imposter syndrome runs rampant in the tech field.

Tech jobs are high-stress and extremely demanding, and many tech pros struggle with burnout and even mental health issues from the pressure. Often, the pros who overwork themselves do so because of imposter syndrome, where you believe that everyone around you is smarter, more talented and more skilled. Imposter syndrome causes fear of being discovered and outed as a “fraud.”

Why Tech Breeds Insecurity

Everyone feels a little insecure about their abilities from time to time, but imposter syndrome is so common in the tech business because intelligence is valued so highly – in fact, some might even say its worshipped. Thanks to the pressure and the value on intelligence, it is common for colleagues come down hard on coworkers who make mistakes, which can exacerbate feelings of insecurity.  A few other reasons why imposter syndrome is so common:

  • Believing hype: Successful tech pros can get caught up in their own hype, especially when stories of their successes take on a life of their own. You probably know some legendary stories about people in your niche. Being on the same team as one of these “legends” can cause you to second guess your own abilities.
  • Working on “mundane” tasks: Everyone wants to be part of the flashiest, most exciting projects, but the fact is, most of the day-to-day work of a tech pro is fairly mundane. Falling into the trap of believing that your work is “less than” others who seem to have more exciting jobs can foster imposter syndrome.
  • Not talking about insecurity: The biggest reason why imposter syndrome thrives is that people rarely want to talk about it. No one wants to admit that they feel inadequate or that they fear people see them as a fake, so they suffer in silence and that isolation breeds even more negative feelings.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, and unfortunately, no one can fix it for you. Only the individual suffering can take the necessary steps to overcome it, but if you’re dealing with imposter syndrome, you may want to take a look at your work environment.  If you’re simply under too much pressure or if your coworkers are consistently hard on you to the point where your mental health is impacted, it’s time to make a change.

If you’re ready to work at a job you love on a team that will make you feel confident about your abilities, work with the expert tech recruiters at Talon.  Our team can match you with IT job opportunities that align with your skills, experience and your career goals. Contact us to learn more about the ways we can help you thrive.


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