Earlier today my husband sent me a link to this blog post by programmer Scott Hanselman, on feeling like a phoney, despite career success. Give it a read first, if you’ve got a minute. I’m a couple of years late here, but it’s good stuff that most of us will relate to. Unsurprisingly, I do too, and wanted to blog a quick response (as a “you and me both, husband!” as much as anything else!).
I think something that can exacerbate this for freelancers, or anyone with a professional online identity, is the need to present our skills, competence and confidence to potential clients, customers and colleagues (this episode of Sesame St is brought to you by the letter C!). To market our skills, services, and – as a hundred “you are your brand!” articles around the web remind us – ourselves.
I think most of us are a mix of those feelings of despair when we look at work from someone we feel we’re miles behind, those feelings of euphoric pride when we create something we’re really pleased with and go “wow, I made that!“…and hopefully, underpinning it all, a reasoned awareness of the skills that we do have after years of study, practice, and (hopefully!) constant learning. But we’re having to present one side of that when we write copy for our website, or promo mailers, or job queries.