Boston Globe: Feel like an imposter? It might be good for your career

15 Sep 2023
MIT professor Basima Tewfik’s research uncovers an upside to being bothered by self-doubt.

Originally found at Boston Globe

When Basima Tewfik was 22, she was a management consultant assigned to work with a consumer products company in Amsterdam. She was new to the business world, new to consulting, new to having a big-deal job.

And she was being introduced to her clients as a Harvard graduate. “I realized when I was interacting with them that they thought I was a post-MBA or something larger than life,” says Tewfik. “They were like, ‘Oh, she must be really smart. She must have very specific insights as to our problems.’”

It made her feel strange. And then she realized the problem: “They might think I’m smarter than I think I am.” Was she an imposter?

...Tewfik’s work (Academy of Management Journal)  contradicts decades of assumptions that the imposter phenomenon is something to be suppressed or overcome, and that it’s unequivocally negative, resulting in little more than decreased self-esteem and increased stress.

Continue reading the original article at Boston Globe.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary.

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