Chapter 1: Issues for the new professional

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Section 5. Survival Strategies

Read this poem. Can you relate?

The Imposter Syndrome

There is something I don't know,
That I am supposed to know.
I don't know what it is I don't know
And yet am supposed to know.
And I feel I look stupid if I seem to both not to know it,
And not to know what it is I don't know.
Therefore, I pretend to know it.
This is nerve-wracking since I don't know
What I pretend to know,
Therefore, I pretend to know everything.

R. D. Laing (1970)

What kind of impact might "the imposter syndrome" have on job satisfaction and the likelihood of leaving a profession?

Feeling like they need to pretend to know everything, new professionals may develop strategies to help them survive. These strategies may not always reflect best practices. If these strategies continue they can "crystallize" into a teaching style that is used throughout the professional's career.

Activity D

List 5 "bad habits" a new professional might resort to help them survive their first years.