Unless you’re the most confident person on the face of the earth, I bet you can think of a few times when you thought that your boss made a mistake by hiring you. Maybe the company was tired of recruiting for the job, or maybe HR thought, “Eh, he’s good enough. Let’s give him a shot and see if he falls on his face.” I know I’m prone to letting this impostor syndrome consume me to the point where I’ll often stare at a blank document and think to myself, “I can’t believe they trust me to write this.”
The truth is that you didn’t get your job because you happened to get lucky, or because your boss grew tired of not having some extra help, or any other reason you think you happened to land the position by chance. You got it because you deserve to be there.
When you’re feeling otherwise, remember this:
1. A Lot of People Had to Say Yes
Considering it typically takes 52 days to fill an opening, this isn’t a rushed process that people are hurrying though. Sure, some companies have shorter interview timelines than others, but that doesn’t negate the fact that you likely had to convince a team of people that you were the right person for the job.
Don’t forget the first step of submitting your materials: A human looked at your tailored resume, personalized cover letter, and said, “Yes, this person’s qualified enough to bring in to interview.” So, right off the bat, you checked off a lot of boxes. Then, your boss (and anyone else you met with during the interview process) was so impressed by meeting you in person that they all said yes, too.
2. You Beat the Odds
Let the facts speak for themselves: The average resume only gets a six-second glance and the average job listing gets 250 candidates. Almost right away your skill set made you stand out from a lot of people.
It’s important in to remember in those moments of self-doubt how much work you did during the job search to land where you are now. Think back to those long days you spent writing the perfect cover letter opening, nitpicking over your resume, and researching the company. When you take inventory of all the things you did just to get the interview, you’ll quickly realize that it wasn’t an accident that you were able to convince your boss that you would be awesome. You put a lot of thought and effort into it.
3. You Really Are That Awesome
Ultimately, the fact that you got your job boils down to this: You were the right amount of awesome for the gig. I know that’s hard to believe (trust me, I struggle with this all the time), but do yourself a favor and take a minute to write down all the things that you know you’re good at. For me, I often forget that I have a master’s degree in creative writing. And even more typically, I forget that I didn’t get into that program by chance either.
So, every now and again, let yourself reflect on all the things that got you to where you are in your career. If that means reminding yourself that you’ve kicked ass at a lot of relevant jobs before getting this one, that’s great. If that means looking back on previous projects you received lots of praise for, that’s also a solid way to remind yourself that you aren’t a fraud. Figure out a way to tell yourself that you’re awesome, and lean on that whenever you feel like you lucked into your job.
I know it’s hard to think that you only got to where you are now because you’re lucky. And of course, a lot of things had to line up to get you to the offer stage. But here’s the thing: A lot of those things that have to work out along the way, worked out because you were the right person for the gig. And while I know that’s hard to believe, trust me. When I was a recruiter, I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I let hiring managers settle on just anyone. So, take a deep breath, know that you’re awesome, and get back to work.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy or follow his blog.More from this Author