Kate’s post from earlier this week really nailed something that troubles me and so many of my colleagues – imposter syndrome. It comes into play when applying for a job, questioning a manager’s decision or sometimes even something as seemingly trivial as choosing a new outfit or hairstyle. As Kate pointed out it’s often, but certainly not always, experienced by women, which means it can often feel like we are surrounded by it in our largely female dominated workplaces.
If you have imposter syndrome then something as simple as being asked to provide a short biography or introduction of yourself for a conference presentation, journal article or website can be challenging and difficult. Our library community isn’t huge, so there is always the sense of wondering (fearing?) whether someone you know is going to read or hear what you’ve provided and KNOW that what you’ve said can’t possibly be true. Even if your rational self knows it is, in fact, quite true, because these are FACTS PEOPLE!
Only this week I was asked to provide a bio as part of an invitation to appear on an alumni panel at a CSU School of Information Studies event later this year, so Kate’s post was timely as I had just wrestled the words together and had finally hit ‘send’ after hours of agonising. Over so few words. That I mostly copied from various bios I already have distributed around the place.
And maybe a little bit of imposter syndrome isn’t a bad thing after all? It can ‘keep you honest’ and like presenting, sitting an exam or lining up at the starting line for a fun run – a little bit of doubt or nervousness may give you the edge you need to keep you going. So I keep telling myself anyway!
So here’s my challenge to you – if you’re looking for a #blogjune post idea (and who isn’t by this point in June?) – write your bio. A few snappy sentences that sum up your career highlights to date, or some other combination of statements about you and your job or professional interests. In about 100 words. For what it’s worth – here’s the one I just sent off:
Clare works as an Outreach Team Leader at UNSW Library, where her team provides a hub for communication between the Library and the UNSW academic community. She has previously worked with library repository services and research data management. Clare is a co-founder and Director of the International Librarians Network (ILN), the largest mentoring program for librarians in the world. She also tutors into a professional year program for graduate accounting and engineering students. In her spare time, Clare drinks a lot of coffee and occasionally finds time to tweet as @ccmcknz.