Weeknotes S2 Ep3

The one with allllllll the imposter syndrome

Weeknotes S2 Ep3
photo credit: unsplash

From the depths of a polar vortex (🥶), a quick summary of my fortnight (I might switch to bi-weeknotes as it seems to work better for me.)

Three things I’ve done:

  • Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve interviewed nearly every member of my team (15 people!) about what service design is, what problems we should be solving and how service design can have the most value in solving those. The intention behind these is to build relationships with the team while also starting to do some research into the problem space, and though setting them up felt intimidating and awkward (I worried I would bother people with my incessant questions,) I’m so glad I did them — the’ve been so helpful and actually really enjoyable.
  • I’ve been building a current state service blueprint in Mural. It’s still missing a lot of information but having it in a visual format makes it easier for me to see where those gaps are.
  • I connected with several others in the digital or service design field — through community slack channels, online meetups and one-on-one meetings.

Three things I’ve struggled with:

  • My imposter syndrome has been really heavy lately. I have to keep reminding myself daily, if not hourly, that I deserve to be here, that I’m qualified and capable.
  • Relatedly, I’ve struggled with not having delivered anything really tangible to my team yet. I’ve been focusing on learning and getting grounded, but it’s hard to feel useful when I’m taking more than I’m giving.
  • I’ve made some very minor mistakes this week — for example: the time I missed an update and was late for an important meeting, or the time I was put on the spot in a meeting and shared something that completely missed the point of the conversation. Usually these things wouldn’t bother me; I’d shrug them off and move on. But as you can probably tell, I’m just not feeling very confident right now, so small mistakes feel more consequential.

Three things that have inspired me:

  • I set up a mentoring session through mega mentor and it was transformative. The ‘mentor’ I spoke with is in a similar situation as me — she’s also transitioned from a research role to service design, she’s also had to onboard into a new team in government and experienced the uncomfortable feeling of adjusting to something different and complicated. She gave me practical advice and also reminded me to be patient, to not be in a rush to deliver but to take this time to absorb and learn. It was so refreshing and exactly what I needed to hear right now.
  • This article on Leisa Reichelt’s advice for building research culture at Atlassian really resonated for me, particularly the bit about value creation.
  • I came across the Transport Canada How We Work playbook and I’m impressed with it … I love finding examples of Canadian government teams openly working in an agile, user-centered way.

Reading, listening and watching:

  • I started reading Station Eleven a couple of days ago and it’s one of those books that’s so good, I’m having to ration how much read because I know I’ll be gutted when I’m finished and I can no longer read it for the first time. It’s a novel about a pandemic that destroys the world so maybe not the best choice to read during Covid? But I find myself feeling grateful as I read it … “Well, school closures are hard but at least things aren’t THIS bad …”
  • I’m a bit obsessed with this podcast, Alone: a love story, by the CBC. It’s such a rich story and Michelle Parise tells it in a way that’s so raw and relatable. I rarely binge listen/watch/read but I haven’t listened to anything else since I started it.
  • I just finished It’s a Sin, and like everyone else I am utterly devastated.