"I Must Have Slipped Through the Cracks Somehow": An Examination of Coping with Preceived Impostorism and the Role of Social Support
Journal of Vocational Behavior
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We use two studies to explore how individuals manage perceptions of impostorism as they train for their future careers. Drawing on interviews with 20 professionals in training, our qualitative analysis uncovered various tactics (both constructive and maladaptive) used by these individuals to cope with perceived impostorism. Among these tactics, seeking social support from individuals outside of their program peer group (e.g., professors, family, friends, and significant others) appeared to be more effective in dampening perceptions of impostorism than seeking support from peers within their program. We use Conservation of Resources Theory (COR) to develop testable hypotheses about this observed relationship between different sources of social support and perceptions of impostorism, and find support for this pattern of results in a group of 213 professionals in training. We also discuss the implications for research on impostorism, COR, social support, and early career entry.
Impostorism; Impostor phenomenon; Career entry; Social suport
Organizational Behavior and Theory
Gardner, R. G.,
Bednar, J. S.,
Stewart, B. W.,
Oldroyd, J. B.,
"I Must Have Slipped Through the Cracks Somehow": An Examination of Coping with Preceived Impostorism and the Role of Social Support.
Journal of Vocational Behavior, 115