In recent months, “imposter syndrome” has made headlines as the newest millennial affliction: The term has been featured in Time, Forbes, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez interview, and even The McGill Tribune. Despite extensive news coverage, it can be difficult to decipher whether a lack of self-confidence is part of a wider psychological pandemic, or simply well-deserved doubt. To help those struggling, The McGill Tribune presents the definitive guide for distinguishing between having imposter syndrome and being an imposter.
- You’re preparing your resume for an interview. As you review your credentials, you are struck with panic because:
a.). There’s no way you have enough extra-curricular experience to work as an unpaid intern at a digital media agency.
b.) The company hires a lot of recent graduates, and someone might be able to verify that you were not, in fact, a McGill student between 2014 and 2018.
- Congratulations! You got your dream job as a “Social Media and Content Vision Intern.” You pick up the phone and:
a.) Call your mom! She still wishes you had picked a different major and also applied to law school, but is proud nonetheless.
b.) Speak to a Bell customer service representative because you need to change your number. You previously used 514-938-9999 to answer as “Professor Anita Roth,” your “advisor” last summer, so you need a new line.
- It was a long week at work. While cleaning up your apartment, you notice the trash is overflowing with:
a.) Empty coffee cups, tissues, 5-hour Energy® Shots, and KD instant cups.
b.) Hair: Medium ash blonde, rich mahogany, jet black, even a Dollar Store neon wig.
- You’re out on a boat on the coast of San Remo with your similarly hot, blonde, and blue-blooded friend. When he rejects your advances, you:
a.) Are disappointed, but never thought that you had a chance with Jude Law anyway. This only confirms your deepest insecurities.
b.) Notice an oar sitting on the side of the boat, and, overcome with rage, beat Jude Law to death. A talented impressionist with a gift for forgery, you proceed to steal his identity and live lavishly travelling across Europe, no matter how hard Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman try to stop you. You are Matt Damon, after all.
Mostly A’s: Congrats! You have imposter syndrome, and while this might be psychologically and interpersonally inhibiting, all of your behaviour is legal in the Province of Quebec. Cheer up, any Digital Media Company / Start-up / Content Creation Platform would be lucky to have you.
Mostly B’s: Forget imposter “syndrome,” you are the real deal. Perhaps if you adopt a baritone and stop conditioning your hair, HBO will one day make a documentary about you, too.