My Experience with NTT DATA’s Tech Academy

20 June 2022

NTT DATA have thought ‘outside the box’ to recruit talent and I’m really excited to be involved. They have employed 18 tech graduates that don’t come from the usual channels of achieving an IT degree from Uni. Some come from the hospitality industry as chefs or working in a bar or restaurant, some returning to work after having a family. They are all learning their coding craft. It’s an innovative solution to attracting the right candidates.

So, what’s my part in all this? I have had the pleasure of coaching these men and women every three months, since the start of this year. It’s an amazing programme, a great opportunity for both NTT DATA and the ‘tech academy grads’. I provide confidential coaching support as they start to navigate their way through the complexities of the corporate consulting world. The development of soft, human and non-technical skills (or whichever term you prefer) are just as important as their technical skills.

They are all growing massively, and I can see the step change in their confidence since I first met them in March, then June and more recently during September. I love coaching each and every one of them. It helps that their passion for self-improvement and positive energy is infectious! Some have started to talk about imposter syndrome, which is not a surprise as most have come from a different industry and are at the start of their career in tech.

So, what is imposter syndrome? According to Wikipedia, ‘Imposter syndrome is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud’. But did you know that 80-90% of people have suffered imposter syndrome at some stage? And that’s not just people at the start of their career. It’s the same for a junior developer as well as a Vice President or a CEO. So many of my executive coaching clients talk about it.

Here’s the shocking truth though – Imposter syndrome is not necessarily a bad thing… Typically it’s a sign that you are challenging yourself and pushing into new areas. A new job, a promotion, a new boss, organisational or life changes… or in this case a brand-new career in a new industry. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what drives growth and development. It can be seen as a positive thing.

The real challenge with imposter syndrome is how you deal with it, so it doesn’t overwhelm you and hold you back. I have worked with the NTT DATA tech academy so they can each find their own solution, something that feels authentic to them. How about you? When did you feel imposter syndrome, and how did you deal with it?

Maybe you should worry if you’ve NEVER felt imposter syndrome? Now there’s food for thought