Don’t fake it till you make it.
When you’re first starting out in your career, it seems like people just love to give you lots and lots of advice. I believe this advice comes from a good place — these people have made mistakes in their careers and they don’t want you making those same mistakes.
But there’s one piece of advice that I wish people would stop repeating: “fake it till you make it.”
There’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself, having a positive mindset, and setting goals. But “fake it till you make it” encourages you to pretend like you know what you’re doing or worse yet not know what you don’t know. Both attitudes are terrible for your career.
If you’re pretending like you know what you’re doing when you don’t, you’re not going to ask questions. Asking questions is how you learn from your more senior colleagues and those with differing perspectives. And if you’re not learning from other people then you’re not growing in your career.
Faking it is arrogant. Being arrogant means that you’re not going to be humble enough to seek feedback and act upon the feedback you’ve received. If you’re not getting feedback, you’re not learning. You’re not growing. You’re not going to make it.
And if you’re faking it, guess what? People will see through it. If you’re working with smart, experienced people they’ll know that you don’t know what you’re doing. And there’s nothing worse for your career than losing your credibility and your integrity.
So don’t fake it till you make it! If you really want career advice, here’s mine: work hard, be kind, learn from other people, get feedback.
Somehow it’s not as sexy as fake it till you make it.