Back to resources

How to Overcome the Imposter Syndrome

Different Skillsets
Handling Promotion
Legitimacy
Feedback
New Manager

8 December, 2021

Daria Derkach
Daria Derkach

Engineering Manager at Atlassian

Daria Derkach, Engineering Manager at Atlassian, shares her challenge to overcome her imposter syndrome, related to managing a team she was once a member of.

The Internal Struggle

When I transitioned from an IC to a leadership position, I became the manager for a team I had previously worked on. I went from a part of the team to their leader. This transition proved to be a mental challenge for me rather than a technical one. I understood my new responsibilities and job requirements but felt like I was disconnected from my team every time we synced up. I was struggling to take control of my team and engage in this new role as their manager.

How to Overcome Mental Blocks

Finding Relevant Research:

First of all, I was in this situation for a month or so before realizing that I needed to spark a change. I started Googling and doing online research on how to overcome my problem. I found out that many other people had gone through what I was experiencing, and they called it an imposter syndrome. However, I found that these suggestions on the internet were not relevant or helpful to me. Many of the suggestions were to “deal with it” and “gain confidence,” which was what I couldn’t seem to achieve on my own. I took the information I found and dropped the useless suggestions.

Reach out to Leadership:

I connected with my manager and explained to him that I was having this issue where I was not comfortable managing my team. He offered me great advice - to talk to everyone on my team and explain how I was feeling. He told me that my team was one of the assets that would help me overcome this issue. Once he gave me this advice and reassurance, I felt it was time to start one-on-one with my team members.

Connect with the Team:

I set up a bunch of sync-ups to explain how I felt and ask for feedback and ideas. Once I began these conversations, I learned that the team saw me as their manager and had no issues with my style of leadership. Hearing this gave me the much-needed boost in confidence to engage in my role.

Initially, when I became a manager, I felt a disconnect between myself and my team, as if I was part of a different group, as a manager. In reality, I needed this confidence check to show me that I was still a major part of this team; only some of my responsibilities were different.

Common Understandings

  • Talking with your team is the best way to gain insight into how you are doing. Your team is the group of people that can give you the best feedback and help you overcome any type of imposter syndrome.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Should You Stay Up to Date with Technical Skills As a Product Manager?

19 January

Nani Nitinavakorn, the Sr Product Owner at Revolut, describes how she keeps learning hard skills to increase motivation and respect her team.

Alignment
Innovation / Experiment
Different Skillsets
Personal Growth
Ownership
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
New PM
New Manager
Nani Nitinavakorn

Nani Nitinavakorn

Sr Product Owner at Revolut

Strategies to Deliver Effective Employee Feedback

18 January

Rachit Lohani, Head of Engineering at Atlassian, shares all his ideas and principles on providing feedback and avoiding discomfort while doing so.

Leadership
Internal Communication
Feedback
Motivation
Strategy
Team Processes
Rachit Lohani

Rachit Lohani

Head of Engineering at Atlassian

Reasons Promoting From Within Is Better for Growing Your Business

18 January

Vishal Ramrakhyani, Director of Engineering at Zoomcar, shares how grooming an existing senior team member to a leader can boost team morale and keep the culture intact.

Alignment
Building A Team
Handling Promotion
Company Culture
Feedback
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Fairness
Juniors
Vishal Ramrakhyani

Vishal Ramrakhyani

Director of Engineering at Zoomcar

The Process of Scaling Small to Medium Sized Teams

11 January

Nikita Ostrovsky, Sr. Manager. Site Reliability Engineering at Peloton Interactive, shares how he has grown multiple small teams to medium-sized teams, hiring new candidates and creating a psychologically safe environment.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Different Skillsets
Company Culture
Internal Communication
Onboarding
Hiring
Nikita Ostrovsky

Nikita Ostrovsky

Sr. Manager. Site Reliability Engineering at Peloton Interactive

How to Successfully Transition From Engineer to Product Leader

7 January

Venki Subramanian, VP of Product Management at Reltio, recalls his experience transitioning from engineer to product manager, using his own unique process.

Handling Promotion
Personal Growth
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Cultural Differences
New PM
Career Path
Venki Subramanian

Venki Subramanian

VP, Product Management at Reltio

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.