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Image / Editorial

‘For the first time, I’ve started to shed that limiting imposter syndrome’


by Leonie Corcoran
19th Jun 2019

Leonie Corcoran in Sedona, US

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Leonie Corcoran in Sedona, US

Taking the helm as acting editor of IMAGE.ie, means a new office-bound life for me. It’s time to reflect…


For the past two years, I’ve been a remote worker. Office-less. Team-less. Free to work from home, wherever that home might be, and even that has rarely been a full-time arrangement. Chamonix. Lisbon. Lagos. Dublin. Airports. Cork. A six-week road trip in the US.

I’m a consultant, an advisor and a freelancer, depending on the industry and my level of confidence on a tender day.

I’m a creator, a “project-based” leader and a sometimes project manager. I haven’t ventured to the “expert” title, but I’ve hugged all the rest of them.

Commitment issues

Some might say I have commitment issues. They might not be too far off the mark (sorry, Shane). Then I signed a 12-month lease on a pretty sweet pad in Cork, with aforementioned Shane. For structure, you understand. To focus on a few key projects, including my coaching work. We created a creative space, aka my office, that has a view over the Shaky Bridge.

I downloaded my project management software system; signed up clients and won project tenders, including a few great ones; and had countless calls and conferences by Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp. It was a juggle. But so far, so sweet.

Then a former colleague and wonderful friend called to ask if I might be interested in working with an inspiring, energetic and talented team. Flash forward a few months and here I am. I have a team.

A real-life team. A team that works in the same time zone. That I see on a weekly basis. That inspire, energise and constantly inform me.

A team that (mostly) respects Irish working hours. Apparently, that’s what I was looking for. Structure with real-life contact.

Freelance work

Fellow freelancer Louise Bruton pitched an idea to IMAGE.ie to interview leaders across the media, music and fashion sectors about the reality of not being a full-time worker. It turned into a series articles looking at the pressure to pick up work at every turn, the veneer of glam, the actual glam, and the vulnerability of project work.

There’s no doubt that working for yourself is fun. It’s freeing, flexible, challenging and fulfilling. But it can also be a little lonely (thankfully, my foster dogs are always great sounding boards) and veers from being mildly stimulating to overwhelmingly so.

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I love it, and I continue to hold on to it for a couple of days per week. But for now I also have a team. And I love that. Yes, using my project management tool is more challenging when there is an actual team involved.

Yes, structure is now not an option, it’s essential. And, yes, I’m a part-time commuter from Cork to Dun Laoghaire.

It might not make sense to everyone, and it might look like I am wandering. But for perhaps the first time, as I journey through my thirties, I am embracing the evolution of my career. I have shed that limiting imposter syndrome, and I can calmly say that just because I am wandering, doesn’t mean I’m lost.

There’s an app for that

I spend a lot of my time online (the rest I spend outdoors). The apps I love this month are…

Fabulous: A science-based app, Fabulous helps you build positive habits and incorporate achievable rituals into your life. There are rewards and prompts, both of which I once scoffed at, but I now drink water every morning and meditate. Android only, iOS in beta; from €4.58 per month with a limited free package, thefabulous.co

Curio: I drive a lot. I also love great journalism. Curio narrates articles to provide a mix of news, analysis and features from sources like the Financial Times, The Washington Post and Nautilus. Finally, someone is giving us the opportunity
to listen to quality journalism. Android and iOS; €64.99 per year, with a free trial, curio.io

Buycott: I try to be mindful of the causes I support as I shop. Buycott makes this a little easier. Select the campaigns close to your heart – palm oil, human trafficking, women’s rights, to name but a few – and as you shop, scan a bar code and instantly view that company’s track record. Android and iOS; free, buycott.com


Read more: Dealing with work anxiety

Read more: Tips for frequent flying

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