Impostor Syndrome in Tech: You Aren’t That Special

Melanie Ogunwale
3 min readFeb 3, 2021


Lady in sequin dress and fur stole making a grand entrance. Credit:

Since everyone remarks and exclaims about how they feel like impostors:

You aren’t that special. No really. You aren’t.

Not saying this to be rude, just to poke a bit of fun so hear me out. :) If you haven’t noticed since the beginning of your grand entrance into tech there has been a popular psychological phenomenon that folks LOOOOOOOVE to write about: impostor syndrome.

It’s like this rite of passage on tech industry social media postings. Not kidding. See it daily and have been for the past year:

“I don’t belong.”

“I feel like a fraud.”

“How to get over impostor syndrome: my motivations and affirmations.”

Have any of you noticed something? You ALL feel less than! Every one of you is expected to be an overachiever a deep thinker and identify with those attributes. You have been hired and chosen because you probably displayed traits that made you stand out and matched up with desirable highly sought/curated skills. It always ends up the same, you get insecure.

Girl covering eyes feeling shy. Credit:

You may already know most people that enter new careers get insecure. Not just careers but any new pursuit. Arts, sports, public speaking, coming to a new city or school, a new country. So many people get on stages and their heart beats, feel like pukin, and tempted to run the other direction because they genuinely feel like they aren’t qualified to be there. Even as people progress through their careers it just keeps happening. I’ve oft wondered why is it that tech seems to be the only industry really lays it in deep?

There I said it.

And in all honesty I don’t know why we need to get on a pedestal and yammer on about it.

Cat on a desk looking slightly surprised. “Who me?!” Credit:

You can attack that.

You can call me sour.

But think.

You, in a very competitive field, have been hired because you’ve shown you got what it takes. Moreso than hundreds of others.

So this peculiar collective cultural obsession with impostor syndrome is simply one of the most baffling things to someone new here. I don’t get it. This industry and the majority of people I speak with has been really welcoming, ready to share, ready to connect, ready to talk way way more than other industries I’ve been in. So the fact that your all feeling like impostors and it’s running rampant is so ridiculous.


Woman in wig exclaiming: “How preposterous!” Credit:

There you go.
My rite of passage is complete.
I belong now!
I wrote and published something about impostor syndrome.

All silliness and poking fun aside:
What are some deeper psychological issues that you are facing that go past impostor syndrome?

I genuinely wonder this and feel curious. Why is it that we are so collectively focused on this impostor syndrome? To the point we don’t write about anything else? Once something gets played ad nauseam I feel a bit more curious if it’s hype or something we have in common about aspects of our creativity. It feels preemptively defensive to me. Hiding behind a trend to bait us to ask more.

Well here I am!

Man in a vampire cape announcing to a jewelry store: “I’m here!” Credit:

What are the deeper reasons?!

I bet they are complicated and hard to solve.

Is it self esteem?
The people around you?
Workplace or social climate?
The messages you are taking in?
Anxiety about other things going on?

With all of this you could use some support and reaching out. Maybe look inwards to listen to your own dialogue. Look sideways to see the ways people are talking to you or what you are taking in/remembering about how you were taught to think of yourself.

One dog hugging another. Credit:

maybe give yourself a good chuckle because hopefully your role in the workplace is really just a job or better yet really great and you are thinking too hard into a silly trend. Heck maybe just maybe you can write about something original for once!



Melanie Ogunwale

Product Designer | Research, UX, UI for Mobile and Web Based Products