Get over imposter syndrome and get chartered

By Mandy Pearse,

A week ago I had a pit in my stomach and a huge bout of Imposter Syndrome as I looked at my file full of notes. Why on earth had I decided to put myself forward for the CIPR’s Chartered PR assessment?

To rewind slightly I qualified as a Chartered Marketer 24 years ago, I have an MBA, I’ve over 25 years’ experience, I’ve led the Comms in large organisations, I train people and I’ve run my own consultancy for 7 years – so why am I feeling like I’m going to be found out?

That is the problem with Imposter Syndrome is it doesn’t matter what you do, how many awards you win, how many challenges you overcome – it’s still there.

It may be related to being a perfectionist. I constantly berate myself for the slightest error in my work, for not being as absolutely fabulous as friends and not achieving more by an earlier age. There may be a gender element as fewer of my male peers express it but that just could be because they don’t talk about it. I think it is getting worse as I get older & more experienced which is interesting.

Back to the matter in hand. I achieved my Chartered PR status after a nerve-wracking day. I met some fabulous PR folk. The feedback from the assessors was great.

So, if like me you are a senior practitioner being held back from getting Chartered by yourself doubt please do take the plunge.

My advice?

1: Read the guidance notes. Make sure you set aside time for doing preparation.

2: Study all the materials sent and read a bit more widely on the topics.

3: Keep on top of current PR issues. Think about your career and of examples of where you have tackled issues around ethics, leadership and strategy.

4: Remind yourself of models/theories of PR.

5: Persuade a PR buddy to go for it at the same time.

What will my clients gain from me being a Chartered PR?

They know I’m up to date in the strategic advice I give and it is based on sound practice and theory.

They can trust that I will give them the best professional advice even if that is I’m not the right person for this job.

They can be confident that I will deliver quality work because I keep up to date with CPD and invest in my training.

They can be assured that I have the skills to support senior leadership teams and show that leadership myself.

And if like me you from time to time feel like an imposter here is a really good article from Fiona Buckland at The Guardian.

Mandy Pearse is director at Seashell Communications.

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