Impostor Syndrome


"Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”

― Axel Oxenstierna, Lord High Chancellor of Sweden to his son who feared holding his own as a peace delegate at the Peace of Westphalia


I find that people in the Information Security field often believe that others are smarter than them, or more educated or experienced than them. But my experience has been the opposite. 

When I got my first official IT job in a NOC in 2016, I assumed that the people I would be working with were experts in their field. I had studied hard, worked harder, to make sure I understood the technology I was responsible for and was excited to step into my role. 

Without sounding haughty or thinking too highly of myself, I quickly learned that many of my peers did not care about the job, or the technology. It was a means to an end, and their career had ended the moment they decided that it was a means to an end. 

My yearly evaluations quickly reflected that I was operating above my peers and should be eligible for promotion. So I began applying for junior engineering roles within my org.  After 2 years and leading an automation project for my current role, a position opened I was able to move into a security engineering role. 

Again, I assumed that my coworkers would be experts in their field. Instead, I found that I was working at or above expectations and that coworkers were coming to me for assistance, education, etc... 

I was astounded. I thought that I had stepped into a role where I would be junior, some of these people had been employed for years in the security engineering teams. Surely they should be leading me? 

This behavior has repeated. And its not unique to me. I'm not a special snowflake or some super cyber specialist.

As a member of the information security community, if you care about your career, if you're passionate about technology, about privacy, about internet freedom, about how tech can make lives safer, you're already performing above peers. 

Those passions end up inundating your behaviors. Pushing for safer computing standards. Safer softwares. Safer design templates. Safer user interactions. 

You're not only good enough to be in your role, or a higher one, but better than the people who are there and don't care. 

Throw impostor syndrome out the window, don't you know with how little wisdom the world is secured?