We recently delved into the minds of 5,700 students and graduates, to find out about young people’s career confidence and their perception of future employment.
Lower Salary Expectations
Our research identified that one in three (33%) women are worried about low pay and think they’ll earn under £20k in an entry level role, compared to less than a quarter (22%) of their male counterparts.
We also found that males expect to be earning more in five years’ time, with more females (25 percent compared to 15 percent males) expecting to be on £25-£30k and more males (23 percent compared to 17 percent females) expecting to be on over £35k, after five years.
Writer and activist, Natasha Devon MBE importantly contributed stating:
“Imposter syndrome is more than just ‘lacking confidence’. It’s an all-consuming belief that you aren’t worthy of your career achievements, that you’re a fraud and a fear of being ‘found out’, even if all the evidence shows you to be qualified and capable. Whilst feminism has come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, we still live in a culture where the prototype for success and influence is white, male and middle aged. It’s no wonder, then, that the people most likely to experience imposter syndrome are young women.”
While confidence was the top choice for respondents, our findings revealed that far more females (41%) reported confidence to be a soft skill that they needed to work on most to excel in their career, compared with just 28% of males.
Competition from those with more work experience was another concern, with more females (58%) citing it as an issue, compared to males (47%).
Our Jobs Expert at Milkround, Georgina Brazier stated:
“Confidence issues are affecting graduates before they even hit the workforce, which often lasts with them throughout their career.
While more employers are implementing mentorship programmes to alleviate imposter syndrome and boost confidence among new starters, more needs to be done to ensure that this negative mindset is reversed, before they start working their way up the career ladder.”
How to Avoid Imposter Syndrome
Natasha Devon has put together some helpful tips to ensure that you avoid imposter syndrome and maintain confidence in young individuals.
Know Your Enemy
Having imposter syndrome can feel incredibly isolating, because by its very nature it is something which makes you feel as though you don’t belong. It’s important to remember it’s both common and, unfortunately, normal – particularly amongst women.
Think like your male counterparts
Studies show that men tend to believe they can do jobs for which they are underqualified whereas women are more likely to believe they aren’t right for a role, even if they are overqualified. Look at their qualifications and experience and measure them, objectively, against yours.
Combat negative self-talk
It’s essential to have a voice in your head advising caution, especially when running away from a bear. The negative voice we’ve evolved to carry around with us is more likely to tell us we aren’t worth a pay rise, can’t do that presentation or will make a fool of ourselves in a meeting. Recognise that voice and tell it to shut up.
Separate instinct from structurally created beliefs
Human beings learn through repetition and a lot of what our brain absorbs happens subconsciously. We still live in an environment which tells us the prototype for a powerful person is white, male and middle aged. Realise this is a belief system is not representative of you and is not something you would choose to believe of your own free will.
Stop trying to be liked
Women, on average, fear social rejection more than men. This isn’t an attitude which serves anyone well in the work place. However, we teach people how to treat us. Working for free, never using the word ‘no’ and letting other people take credit for your work might mean less confrontation, but it will leave you underpaid, undervalued and exhausted.
You can find more information in this year’s report. Download your copy here.
*All figures from Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report 2018
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