Amy Bergen, VP of Business Development at The Leadership Edge presented to the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Seattle Chapter on July 23rd about “Finding Your Niche for Career Success,” including a new segment on Imposter Syndrome. Amy has been advocating career development for women for over 10 years.

She led the group through several interactive activities to identify their skills and talents, asking them to dig deep to discover their goals and aspirations. Using that launching point, the group began to map their path for long-term success. She was mindful to highlight that in today’s rapidly changing world, the traditional career ladder has changed, opening up various directions for advancement and development.

By setting your end goal, it’s easier to identify the right opportunities for you in your organization and career for growth. Develop a supportive network and trusted mentors. Share your goals with your network, possibly including your manager. Start by setting a 7-day goal and hold yourself accountable by checking in on your progress. Continue educating yourself outside your company to develop more skills and knowledge via webinars, blog posts, or publications.

Imposter syndrome is a pattern of doubting your accomplishment and internalizing the fear of being considered a “fraud.” She said, “Perhaps the most limiting part of dealing with imposter syndrome is that it can affect our courage to go after new opportunities, explore potential areas of interest, and put ourselves out there in a meaningful way.”

Amy provided tools to the group to combat imposter syndrome. Voicing your fears in coaching or to a mentor helps normalize the feelings. Having a strong support system and receiving ongoing feedback to validate your efforts and outcomes is important for improving confidence levels. Write down your achievements and keep a file of accomplishments to look back on when your confidence is waning. Amy’s powerful message was “you are here; in this job, your business, your life for a reason and you are worthy of your successes. You are better than you think you are”.

At the end of the evening, the women were equipped with an action plan, including 7-day goals, a renewed understanding of their strengths, new contacts to grow their networks and tools to develop their skills.