The Impostor Seniors

Jane Palash


Meet Suzy. She works for a small company of 10, where she’s the only writer on the team. A year later the company hires another writer. Now, whether or not Suzy mastered anything in her role, beyond missing the accountant’s head when playing darts, she is now a Senior Writer. She’s been there longer and her boss didn’t mind. Suzy ships a lot of work unsupervised and has come to believe she doesn’t need peer review. It’s fine as is. In a few years she gets bored of the work and decides to look for a different job.

Meet Linda. Linda joined a big software company with a whole content department. Linda performs better than her peers but there’s no such thing as a Senior Writer at her company. Everyone’s a writer and there’s a Content Lead, that’s it. Linda never cared for titles, she cared for experience. Linda learns an incredible amount of things, absorbs as much information as she can, and 3 years later feels like she’s ready to move to a different company. She starts looking for a job.

The same company gets 2 CVs. Who gets a callback?

On paper, Suzy looks like a more promising candidate who moved into the senior role quickly. Suzy must be talented! While Linda looks like an unambitious girl who’s been content with a stagnant position for 3 years.

Certainly, a good, discerning HR will be able to tell that Suzy is not qualified for…