We ran two recent surveys that asked the question:
1. What is the biggest obstacle to getting a job in software or cyber engineering?
The two largest selections were "Previous experience required" (60%) and "Cost to Train" (25%). Interestingly an insightful comment by Edward Chesiak reads as follows:
"The problem with this field is basically the same in most fields…companies are stuck in the mud with the old time thinking…no experience, no job… why are companies so antiquated in their thinking There is a plethora of people such as myself that are seeking opportunities in this or fields like these only to be told no."
2. What were the toughest obstacles you encountered during employment interviews after leaving the military?
The two largest selections were "Translating military skills" (51%) and Imposter Syndrome (24%). An interesting comment by Darren Carrington read:
"Unless your being interviewed by an ex serviceman they do not care what transferable skills you have. Most haven’t a clue what you did / achieved which can benefit them. Even if you articulate what you have done and what you can do for them it’s on deaf ears. I over heard a manager in a company I worked for just after leaving the military make a comment that “he only knows military stuff” it did not matter I’d managed a fleet of over 250 vehicles and all the staff required to achieve it or I may have more to offer other than being “just a driver” as I was referred to."
We will cover more on these topics on our LinkedIn company page in the weeks/months to follow however one issue we want to highlight is "imposter syndrome"
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments, feels like a fraud, and is unable to internalize their own success. Despite external evidence of their competence and achievements, people with impostor syndrome believe that they don't deserve their accomplishments and attribute their success to luck, external factors, or the ability to deceive others into thinking they are more capable than they truly are.
Common characteristics of impostor syndrome include:
Self-doubt: Constantly questioning one's abilities and feeling inadequate, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Fear of exposure: Believing that others will eventually discover that they are not as competent as they appear to be, leading to feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
Perfectionism: Setting excessively high standards for themselves and being overly critical of their own work.
Overachievement: Often working harder and longer than necessary to prove their worth and competence.
Discounting success: Dismissing compliments and downplaying achievements by attributing them to luck, help from others, or external circumstances.
Impostor syndrome is not limited to any specific demographic group and can affect people in various fields, including academia, business, the arts, and more. It can lead to stress, and burnout, and hinder personal and professional growth.
It's essential to recognize impostor syndrome, as acknowledging it is the first step towards addressing and managing it. Many people find it helpful to seek support from friends, family, mentors, or mental health professionals to overcome these feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic approaches can also be effective in addressing impostor syndrome.