Imposter syndrome hits lawyers hardest, survey finds

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One in three say their work dreams cause them anxiety

A study has revealed that a third of legal professionals frequently dream about imposter syndrome, the highest proportion of any sector in the UK.

The legal field ranks 10th in the UK for the frequency of work-related dreams in the new research that aims to shed light on the relationship between British workers’ careers and dreams.

Professionals who most frequently dream about the day job were those employed in HR and architecture, engineering and construction, according to the survey of 2,205 workers.

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The study by bespoke furniture specialist Neville Johnson indicated that imposter-syndrome dreams peak at both graduate and director level for UK professionals and is more commonly experienced by those in higher wage brackets.

The research also details other issues troubling the minds of sleeping legal professionals. Forty-four percent reported that that they frequently had dreams about excessive workloads, whilst 39% encountered “negative or inappropriate colleague relationships” in the land of nod.

Other issues that were cited as being the subject of work dreams were feeling under-qualified for the role (32%), being under-prepared for a task (30%), and being in a different job (26%). One in three workers in the legal sector noted that their work dreams had the consequence of causing them anxiety.

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Perhaps they are underqualified for the role and their subconscious knows this.



Nah it’s people like you in the LC comment section responsible for this


Moving On Up

What for pointing out to them that they feel this way because deep down they really do know they aren’t up to it and they are going to get found out at some point?



A survey of 2200 people conducted by a furniture company..



I was called in 1997. I have appeared in just about every court in the land, from benefits tribunals to the House of Lords.

I have really bad imposter syndrome.

I recently raised this with a very senior and well respected member of the Bar. I thought he might give me some tips or reassurance. “Hi, I’d like to speak to you about imposter syndrome…”

“Oh yes it’s terrible isn’t it. I dread one day being in the ICC and they realise I’ve been bluffing all this time.”

That in itself was strangely reassuring.

I do advocacy training; and I always say the the newly minted barristers that by, definition, if they got this far, they deserve to be here. But I think IS hits everyone. It’s just good that the culture is changing so people can talk more about it; and all the other stressors and pressure of life in the law.

It is a dynamic profession, and I love it, but I think it is so important that we recognise the toll it can take, and discuss openly how to mitigate against that. We can’t help anyone else if we’re cracking up ourselves.


Spear phishing

I bet Kirkland NQ never suffered from this.


Scouser of Counsel

I seem to get Imposter Syndrome every time I’m about to start a jury trial.

Then it starts, we’re underway, and by the end of the first witness I remember why this is the best job in the world and I love every minute.


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