Imposter syndrome while studying for certs?

thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
Do you ever get imposter syndrome while you are studying for a cert? Logically you know that getting the next level cert is going to help move your career forward and you will learn a lot while studying for it, but there is a little voice in the back of your head asking the question "Should I even be attempting this cert?"

I just have this feeling that once I get the next level in my cert path and put it on my resume it's just going to be open season for any topic covered by that cert during an interview no matter if I've never worked with it on a daily basis. If you get one little detail wrong, then you are automatically labeled a paper cert or paper tiger. Let's face it nobody, or very few people, ever work with everything covered by a certification exam on a daily basis.

Anyhow, it's kind of late, I'm kind of tired and I'm probably just blowing this all out of proportion.


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    joshuamurphy75joshuamurphy75 Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    This is exactly why I pursue harder certs. I know I'm not going to keep up with the material if I study, pass the test, then never use it. So Instead, I study something harder on the same subject. It forces me to keep learning, even if it is something rarely used at work. Sure I feel like a fake, and I often find that experienced people can do the job faster than me, but I do a hell of a lot better than I would have done if I didn't push myself to earn that cert. You could always not mention a cert on your resume if you aren't comfortable with it.
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,566 Mod
    Yes there will be people who go on the offense when they see you have certs, they immediately start testing you! It's due to their own insecurities.

    You gotta believe in yourself, and be very firm. I had colleagues trying to test me, and since I have nothing to prove to them, I asked politely to stfu and made it clear that I'm having none of this BS.

    Very few people push and try and learn stuff above their level, and it is the only way. Make sure you lab a lot, and that you change jobs often to better align with your career goals; this way you will have the knowledge of the certs/labs AND the hands-on experience.

    Keep doing your thing, have complete faith that you WILL get to where you want to be.

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : https://grcmastery.com 

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    TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    thomas_ wrote: »
    Let's face it nobody, or very few people, ever work with everything covered by a certification exam on a daily basis.

    No, but it proves you have a a fairly good knowledge of the certification in question. I could say I'd had Checkpoint firewall training (cause I did), but did I pay attention in class? Or did I fall sleep in class (snorting) cause I partied too hard the night before. A certification proves you absorbed the knowledge taught, book smarts isn't quite the same thing as experience, but knowing what to do, is better than not knowing what to do and how to do it.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
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    labscloudlabscloud Member Posts: 137 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Unless you braindump, you should have the core principles down for whatever cert you're studying for. Chance are in order to pass the cert, you labbed it extensively and have a decent grasp of the topic. Have you used it constantly in a production network, probably not, just be confident in yourself in interviews and they will know if you're educated on your stuff. Cheers!
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    DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,753 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yes your conscience is pulling through, that's a good thing IMO.

    Certifications for me, validate what you already know. A great example is the PMP, you see so many people getting this certification it's ridiculous. Most haven't managed cost/financials or drafted up formal RFP's or charters. Yet here they are with their big bad PMP. Even if they did it once, it's for people who are PROFESSIONAL PROJECT MANAGERS, not some guy who wants to add more letters to his resume.

    This whole thing has become so water down it's insane......
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