5 tips to navigate imposter syndrome in your first remote job

by Nov 24, 2021

Whether you are just starting your new job or about to graduate, starting a new job can be exciting and scary at the same time, especially if you are starting it all remotely.

Feeling not good enough and like you don’t know what you are doing is commonly felt when you start a new job. These feelings are well-known as imposter syndrome. If you are feeling these feelings, know that you are not alone.

But, the great news is that there’s a few ways for you to navigate imposter syndrome.

Here are five tips to navigate imposter syndrome in your first remote job:


1. It’s okay not to know it all

When you’ve just finished your degree and are so ready for a new job, you’re probably feeling confident with the skills and knowledge you acquired from years studying at university. But, as days become weeks, you might gradually feel that it turns out you know nothing at all.

Questioning many things and feeling like you ask your manager or colleagues too much might lead you to feel a lack of confidence at work.

When you experience this feeling, know that it is okay not to know everything. When I was dealing with this experience, my friend told me, “Your manager isn’t expecting you to know it all. But they’d expect you to ask good questions so that you can settle well in your new role.”

What a great relief!

So, take your time to list down all the questions you have about the company, the role, and the processes. Then, take advantage of the first few weeks when you are settling in the new role remotely to ask questions. Then, if you can, find mutual free time for you and your manager to have a call to help them explain things you’re wondering about.


2. Know that you have a great capacity to learn instead of bashing yourself over a mistake

When I started my first remote job, I felt so excited and wanted to excel. Because I want to do well, I put great effort into bringing the best in my work. However, I often ended up in a pitfall whenever I made mistakes. I blamed and beat myself up, even when my manager was chill about it.

Because you’re in a new job, you are probably not familiar enough with the systems in place yet. It’s common to make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up, know that you have a great capacity to learn, and mistakes are a great teacher.


3. Don’t strive for perfection. Make the pursuit of excellence your friend

While having a deep-seated desire to do everything well is excellent, perfectionism is a common pitfall. Sometimes we can get blinded in striving for perfection, not allowing ourselves to make mistakes. Instead of striving for perfection, have a fierce commitment to excellence.

In a new role, we can become bogged down with insignificant details, and struggle to prioritise what’s essential in our work. This can result in focusing on low-value tasks and burning out.

But when we strive and have a fierce commitment to excellence, we realise that our time and energy is limited. That’s why we need to pause and assess tasks that are important and do them with excellence.


4. Ask for feedback from your manager or colleagues

When you feel like you are not good enough and are dealing with imposter syndrome, try asking your manager and colleagues about your performance. What we feel is not always true, so dare to ask others and be open to positive and developmental feedback.

Feedback is an essential tool to assess performance. It enables us to see ourselves from others’ perspectives, and also find areas for further improvement. Make sure you dedicate time during a call or via email to ask for feedback.


5.Find a friend that can talk you out of the negativity of imposter syndrome

Last and certainly not least, navigating imposter syndrome should not be a lonely experience. Many people experience this feeling as well. Find a trustworthy friend of yours that can listen and help you get through it together.

Reassurance from a friend can help you better process your self-doubts and navigate imposter syndrome at work. When we know that we are not alone, we will be quicker to overcome this syndrome.


Imposter syndrome will probably come knocking on the back of your mind at every stage of your life, not just in the early stage of your career. However, being able to navigate this when it comes is the key to overcoming imposter syndrome.

So, whenever you feel imposter syndrome at work, try these five tips to guide you, and see how these tips will change how you feel!


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Joshlyne Tasek

Joshlyne Tasek

Joshlyne Tasek is a Sydney-based, Indonesian, HR professional and a final year MBA student in Human Resource Management at UTS. She is passionate about HR and empowering people to develop their fullest potential. She loves to write about career-related reflections and have a mission to coach early-career professionals to build a purposeful and meaningful career. You can find Joshlyne on LinkedIn.