Digital Forensics Specialist David Smalley
David Smalley
Director, Digital Forensics Team

Where do I begin? I am having a tough time writing this material. I believe my audience will eat me alive when I hit publish. Am I good enough to talk about my experiences in law enforcement and the private sector? Some of you may share these same thoughts and, like me, resist opening up about your personal and professional achievements. That is a fair thought and shared by many in our industry with years of experience running laps in the forensics arena. It is known as Imposter Syndrome, and I want to talk about it. 

What Is Imposter Syndrome? 

A simple internet search for Imposter Syndrome yielded multiple results. See what I did there? I cannot get away from the investigative-style narration. From what I have gathered, Imposter Syndrome is a belief that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. I feel like a phony. I feel like I am still faking it to make it, all while capturing an attentive audience that intentionally follows me. 

Putting a Positive Spin on Feeling Like an Imposter 

The global Grayshift Digital Forensics Specialist team is made up of industry experts, specializing in the field of mobile device forensics. We have hundreds of years of combined digital investigations experience and have handled enough casework to make our very own Netflix true-crime series. Yet, with all our achievements and unique experiences, I can say that we display characteristics of imposter syndrome. We suffer from the inability to realistically assess our skill levels. We are hard on ourselves and berate our performance, we experience self-doubt, and we all live in fear of not being able to accomplish our goals and live up to our expectations. Do these signs sound familiar to you?  

While these points can sound negative, I assure you they are not. In fact, my team and I leverage these characteristics to grow in our ever-evolving digital forensics industry. We understand your mission and the challenges you face every day, and we strive to provide you with the information and resources you need to be successful. As a team leader, I always make it a point to congratulate my team on their achievements and ensure that they understand the positive impact they are making. The feeling that we’ve finally “made it” has a disastrous impact on my team’s ability to grow and provide next-level support for our customers. We have learned to embrace our challenges and convert negative energy into a positive driving force.  

If you ever feel like you are experiencing Imposter Syndrome, try to use that feeling to be better at whatever you are doing. My team and I look forward to meeting you again in person this year, where we can learn from each other and become better versions of our already terrific selves. 

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