Impostor Syndrome

posted in: design | 0

So I worked in print production for over a decade, but if I ever met another production artist, I would assume that they know more than me about the job. Why is that?

I think many people suffer from impostor syndrome, but there’s a big difference between simply feeling like “I’m not good enough/prepared” and “I don’t actually know how to do that job”. As a freelancer, it’s been an interesting challenge deciding what projects are possible but simply out of my comfort zone, and which are actually beyond my capabilities. Part of growing and gaining experience is pushing your boundaries.

My first instinct is often to say “I haven’t done that exact thing before” and pass, but I’m learning to better examine the possibilites of a project before letting it go. If I feel I can do better than 90% of it and am confident I can learn the other 10%, I will think hard on passing it up. Others might give themselves more or less leeway on the unknown part, but that’s what I feel comfortable with right now.

I’m also getting used to the idea that you can simply connect with someone you trust to complete the portion you don’t have the skills in. I’ve designed a number of web sites, but I’ve never built any of them. And that’s okay. Learning some code and UI/UX is helping me be a better interactive designer, but it’s possible to design while someone else builds. There are people out there that just want to code someone else’s design.

Everybody’s ego fluctuates from time to time, but don’t get hung up on not being “ready” to do something you’re interested in. Look at a prospect objectively and be ready to reach beyond your comfort zone.

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