More than half of tech workers experience the phenomenon known as imposter syndrome—feeling that they don't deserve their job despite all of their accomplishments in the workplace. Sufferers can also fear that their coworkers will find out they are a fraud, according to a recent report from Blind, the anonymous workplace social network used primarily by tech workers
To create the report, the company surveyed more than 10,400 Blind users, asking the simple question: "Do you suffer from impostor syndrome?"
Nearly 58% said yes. One Salesforce employee said they felt like a fraud even after 14 years of working as an engineer. Another anonymous user said they experienced imposter syndrome after getting hired at a major tech company, according to the report.
SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)
Employees working at the following 15 tech companies reported the highest rates of imposter syndrome, the report found:
1. Expedia (73%)
2. Salesforce (67%)
3. Amazon (64%)
4. Booking.com (64%)
5. LinkedIn (63%)
6. Airbnb (62%)
7. Facebook (59%)
8. Oracle (58%)
9. Microsoft (56%)
10. Intuit (56%)
11. Google (56%)
12. Uber (56%)
13. Lyft (54%)
14. Intel (54%)
15. Ebay (50%)
Somewhat lower levels of imposter syndrome were reported at Cisco (47%) and Apple (45%).
Imposter syndrome is common across all industries, according to research from the International Journal of Behavioral Science, cited in the report. Some 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at one point in their lives, and it impacts all types of people: Men, women, finance executives, marketing managers, physicians, and software engineers.
The American Psychological Association offers the following six tips to overcome imposter syndrome:
- Talk to your mentors
- Recognize your expertise
- Remember what you do well
- Realize no one is perfect
- Change your thinking
- Talk to someone who can help
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- 58% of tech employees report experiencing imposter syndrome. — Blind, 2018
- Employees at Expedia, Salesforce, and Amazon were most likely to report feeling like imposters. — Blind, 2018
- Six ways to help your IT staff learn the business (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- CIO of the future: How the IT leadership role continues to change (ZDNet)
- How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Impostor Syndrome leaves most tech workers feeling like a fake (CNET)
- How to reignite your tech knowledge: Become a college mentor (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.